Title page for ETD etd-05182007-180630

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Cardell, Annie Maria
Author's Email Address acardell@vt.edu
URN etd-05182007-180630
Title Language Development and Verbal Encoding: Implications for Individual Differences in Short-Term Memory in 3-Year-Olds
Degree Master of Science
Department Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Bell, Martha Ann Committee Chair
Deater-Deckard, Kirby Committee Member
Smith, Cynthia L. Committee Member
  • developmental cognitive neuroscience
  • verbal encoding
  • language development
  • EEG
  • short-term memory
Date of Defense 2007-05-10
Availability unrestricted
There is evidence that language ability is related to a number of cognitive processes, including memory. This study used EEG to investigate the extent to which verbal encoding strategies account for individual differences in short-term recognition memory performance in 44 3-year-olds. As hypothesized, children with better language ability (as measured by the PPVT-III) performed better on the memory task. Analyses of EEG power at the hypothesized electrode sites were not significant, but the hypothesis that children who perform better on the recognition memory task will use more verbal encoding strategies than children who perform less well was partially supported by EEG coherence analyses. Children in the high memory group had significantly greater frontal-temporal coherence in the left hemisphere (F7-T3) than the low memory group. However, this was true both at baseline and during encoding, implying that children in the high memory group have greater overall connectivity between these brain areas and that they tend to use more verbal strategies than the low memory group, as they interact with their environments in general, not just during a memory task.
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