Title page for ETD etd-05212009-213253

Type of Document Dissertation
Author Cardell, Annie Maria
URN etd-05212009-213253
Title Exploring the Role of Language Development and Verbal Encoding in Short-Term Recognition Memory in Early Childhood
Degree PhD
Department Psychology
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Bell, Martha Ann Committee Chair
Cooper, Robin K. Panneton Committee Member
Deater-Deckard, Kirby Committee Member
Smith, Cynthia L. Committee Member
  • Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Verbal Encoding
  • EEG Coherence
  • Short-term Memory
Date of Defense 2009-05-15
Availability unrestricted
There is evidence that language ability is related to a number of cognitive processes, including memory. As children become more proficient language-users, they develop the ability to use language as a memory attribute. This study used EEG coherence to investigate the extent to which verbal encoding strategies account for individual differences in two short-term recognition memory tasks in 50 3-year-olds. Children with better expressive and receptive language performed better on the picture memory task (which contains stimuli that can easily be labeled) but not the abstract memory task, indicating that language may support memory processes for some types of stimuli more than for others. Analyses of EEG coherence at the hypothesized electrode pairs (F7-T3 and F8-T4) at baseline and encoding were not significant, indicating that verbal encoding does not account for individual differences in short-term memory performance. When these electrode pairs were examined at baseline and retrieval for the picture memory task, EEG coherence analyses indicated that it may be the use of language as a retrieval cue rather than an encoding strategy that explains individual differences in short-term recognition memory.
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