The development of memory in the context of human action /

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Bibliographic Details
Author / Creator:Howard, Lauren H., author.
Ann Arbor : ProQuest Dissertations & Theses, 2015
Description:1 electronic resource (109 pages)
Format: E-Resource Dissertations
Local Note:School code: 0330
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Other authors / contributors:University of Chicago. degree granting institution.
Notes:Advisors: Amanda L. Woodward Committee members: Susan Goldin-Meadow; Boaz Keysar; Susan Levine.
This item is not available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses.
Dissertation Abstracts International, Volume: 77-02(E), Section: B.
Summary:Infants and young children possess a set of cognitive responses that are specialized for reacting to and understanding people in their environment. Recent research also suggests a particular role for social knowledge in supporting early event memory. For example, when 3-year-old children watch a sequence that includes a person, they remember significantly more about that event than children who watch the same sequence without a person present (Howard, Riggins, & Woodward, under review).
In the current dissertation, I examine the mechanisms underlying this "agentive memory boost" to understand why the presence of a person leads to better event memory in young children. Across three studies, I explore the roll of action activation, intention understanding, and agency on memory in three different age groups. In Experiment 1, I examine the influence of action priming on 3-year-old's social and non-social event recall. In Experiment 2, I explore whether 4-year-old children preferentially remember an event where a person intends to produce an action, as opposed to accidentally producing the same action. Finally, in Experiment 3, I adapt the methods of Howard et al. (under review) to examine the importance of people (vs. inanimate objects) on sequential event memory in 9-month-old infants.
The results of these studies expand upon our previous understanding of social learning to highlight the critical role that other people play on early event memory. Together, they demonstrate an agentive memory boost that appears early in infancy, is present throughout the preschool years, and is based on foundational action understanding abilities.