Poster Session A, Saturday, March 23, 1:30 pm - 3:30 pm, Pacific Concourse
Memory for decision outcomes increases throughout childhood
Matthew Fain1, Christina Hlutkowsky2, Susan Perlman2, Vishnu Murty1; 1Temple University, 2University of Pittsburgh
Previous research shows that in order to successfully navigate our social environment, adults need to form episodic memories of not only who they have previously encountered but also the outcome of those encounters. However, there are dynamic changes throughout childhood in episodic memory systems, leaving open questions about the development of these processes throughout childhood. The current study investigates the developmental trajectory of how children form memories of previous social encounters (item memory, n=137) and the subsequent outcomes (feedback memory, n=119). Children completed a task wherein they emulate a baker by selecting cakes for 20 unique characters. Participants were then shown the character’s response to the selected cake which was either positive or negative. Immediately following this session, participants completed a memory test assessing item memory and feedback memory. We found age-related enhancements in item memory (p<0.001), and we saw a trend towards an age-related enhancement in feedback memory (p = 0.06). Despite age-related differences, we see significant item memory and feedback memory amongst a subset of the youngest participants (p’s< 0.001; 4-years-old); suggesting that these processes are intact during early childhood and are refined as they progress into pre-adolescence. Notably, the valence of feedback did not influence our measures of episodic memory or developmental changes. Together, these findings suggest that children not only form episodic memories about social interactions but also demonstrate an ability to remember the outcome of those interactions. Furthermore, the results suggest that these processes are observable at 4-years-old and performance continues to improve with development.
Topic Area: LONG-TERM MEMORY: Episodic