Short Term Memory During Infancy Essay

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Capacity of Short Term Memory During Infancy
What’s the earliest memory possible? This is a question that psychologist have intensely studied for the past several decades (Ross-Sheehy, Oakes, & Luck, 2003, p.1808). Many of these studies have used a novelty preference procedure, which measures memory by using a novel stimulus and a familiarized stimulus. A novel stimulus would only be recognized and therefore favored if the previous one is still in STM. Studies using this procedure have provided a foundation for the emergence of memory in infancy, as well as its capacity. For instance, some reports have shown that infants only a few hours old can recall a visual stimulus; older infants remember encoded information for hours or even several days
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Oakes, and Steven J. Luck’s (2003), visual task in, “The Development of Visual Short-Term Memory Capacity in Infants”. Ross-Sheehy, and colleagues designed a series of experiments to test short-term memory in infancy through the developmental stages of 4 months of age to 13 months. The task entailed comparing looking times to changing and non- changing visual stimulus streams. Each stream contained 1 to 6 colored squares. The changing streams randomly changed color and the non-changing streams stayed the same. They hypothesized that infants would look longer at changing streams, only if they could remember the previous ones and keep those in STM, to compare with the novel ones (Ross-Sheehy, Oakes, & Luck, 2003, …show more content…
This tasked was performed for different developmental age groups (Ross-Sheehy, Oakes, & Luck, 2003). His second study created a task in which non-linguistic auditory STM capacity could be tested, as well a task in which the reasoning for the capacity limitation could be tested as well. They found that duration caused the limitation for infants being able to listen and distinguish between two instrument sequences, as long as they’re 700ms in length and less than 1,400ms (Ross-Sheehy & Newman, 2013). Waugh and Norman’s task revealed that forgetting for adult STM is due to interference (Waugh & Norman, 1965). However, it’s yet to been tested why there is a capacity of the number of colored squares an infant can remember. Is it due to duration or interference? As Ross found with his visual task, just as there’s an increase in frontal cortex functioning, Visual STM capacity increases just the same. At the age of 10 months, infants have the capacity to remember 4 colored squares, same as adults. Hence, if the cause of visual STM capacity was tested, using a variation of the auditory STM task, we would be able to not only identify the cause of forgetting for visual STM in infancy; but also by using different age ranges from 6 to 10 to 13 month, we might be able to exactly pin-point the age at which infant forgetting patterns resemble

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