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Construction of a more coherent story: Prior verbal recall predicts later verbal accessibility of early memories

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The question of whether early event memories are later accessible for verbal report is of major interest to those concerned with mnemonic processes. In a controlled laboratory study, we examined this question in children 16 and 20 months of age at the time of exposure to event sequences in the context of an elicited‐imitation paradigm and who were subsequently tested for memory for the events at delays of 1, 3, 6, 9, or 12 months, and again at the age of 36 months. Stepwise regressions revealed that the number of mnemonic utterances elicited by direct interview at 36 months is predicted by the number of spontaneous mnemonic utterances at the first delayed recall session. Language abilities at exposure were not predictive of verbal report at 36 months of age. Thus, variables from the most recent exposure were of more import than were variables from the time of the initial experience of the events.
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Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA

Publication date: January 1, 2005

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