University of Cambridge > > Centre for Family Research Seminar Series > Learning about the big picture: Flexibility in Infant Memory

Learning about the big picture: Flexibility in Infant Memory

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If you have a question about this talk, please contact Dr Rosie Ensor.

At birth, infant memory appears to be limited to recognising familiar stimuli, such as the mother’s face, or voices and readings experienced during the last weeks of pregnancy. By 24-months of age, infants can recall a novel sequence of actions, performed by an unfamiliar person with a novel set of stimuli, for up to 3 months. Recent research has focused on mapping the parameters that account for the huge age-related changes in memory that are occurring over the first two years of life. One of the most striking features of early infant memory is its specificity: memory fails unless the conditions present at retrieval are virtually identical to the conditions that were present at encoding. Developing more flexible memory retrieval is an important step in enabling prior experiences to guide behaviour in new situations. When do infants begin to exhibit flexible memory retrieval and are there any cues which can facilitate this skill? In this talk I will discuss the role that contextual details and verbal information can play in creating flexible memory representations in 6- to 24-month-old infants.

This talk is part of the Centre for Family Research Seminar Series series.

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