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Preschool Children’s Memory for Word Forms Remains Stable Over Several Days, but Gradually Decreases after 6 Months
AuthorGordon, Katherine R.
McGregor, Karla K.
Curran, Maura K.
Gomez, Rebecca L.
Samuelson, Larissa K.
AffiliationUniv Arizona, Dept Psychol
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherFRONTIERS MEDIA SA
CitationPreschool Children’s Memory for Word Forms Remains Stable Over Several Days, but Gradually Decreases after 6 Months 2016, 7 Frontiers in Psychology
JournalFrontiers in Psychology
Rights© 2016 Gordon, McGregor, Waldier, Curran, Gomez and Samuelson. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY).
Collection InformationThis item from the UA Faculty Publications collection is made available by the University of Arizona with support from the University of Arizona Libraries. If you have questions, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
AbstractResearch on word learning has focused on childrens ability to identify a target object when given the word form after a minimal number of exposures to novel word-object pairings. However, relatively little research has focused on childrens ability to retrieve the word form when given the target object. The exceptions involve asking children to recall and produce forms, and children typically perform near floor on these measures. In the current study, 3- to 5-year-old children were administered a novel test of word form that allowed for recognition memory and manual responses. Specifically, when asked to label a previously trained object, children were given three forms to choose from: the target, a minimally different form, and a maximally different form. Children demonstrated memory for word forms at three post-training delays: 10 mins (short-term), 23 days (long-term), and 6 months to 1 year (very long-term). However, children performed worse at the very long-term delay than the other time points, and the length of the very long-term delay was negatively related to performance. When in error, children were no more likely to select the minimally different form than the maximally different form at all time points. Overall, these results suggest that children remember word forms that are linked to objects over extended post-training intervals, but that their memory for the forms gradually decreases over time without further exposures. Furthermore, memory traces for word forms do not become less phonologically specific over time; rather children either identify the correct form, or they perform at chance.
VersionFinal published version
SponsorsNational Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders (NIDCD) of the National Institutes of Health [F32DC014213]