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Preschool Children ’ s Memory for Word Forms Remains Stable Over Several Days, but Gradually Decreases after 6 Months

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ABSTRACT

Research on word learning has focused on children’s 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 children’s 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), 2–3 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.

No MeSH data available.


Likelihood of correct response on very long-term test plotted by response accuracy on short-term test and age, short-term accuracy is coded as 0 (incorrect) or 1 (correct) above.
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Figure 2: Likelihood of correct response on very long-term test plotted by response accuracy on short-term test and age, short-term accuracy is coded as 0 (incorrect) or 1 (correct) above.

Mentions: The final model included main effects for response at the short-term test, age, and delay from training, as well as an interaction between response at the short-term test and age (See Table 5). A trend emerged for a negative association between time delay since training (standardized) and log odds of correct response (z = -1.92, p = 0.06). No significant main effects or interactions emerged for any of the language-based predictors. Inclusion of PPVT-IV or either of the PLS-4 scores did not improve model fit. Thus, these language measures were dropped from the final model. No reliable effect of child accuracy on the long-term test on log odds of a correct response at the very-long-term test was detected (z = 0.30). A significant interaction between age and short-term test response emerged (z = 1.99, p < 0.05). Three-year-olds tended to show little effect of prior accuracy at the short-term test on very long-term performance. Four- and 5-year-old participants demonstrated increased log odds of a correct response at very long-term in association with a correct short-term response, and decreased log odds of a correct response at very long-term in association with an incorrect short-term response. See Figure 2.


Preschool Children ’ s Memory for Word Forms Remains Stable Over Several Days, but Gradually Decreases after 6 Months
Likelihood of correct response on very long-term test plotted by response accuracy on short-term test and age, short-term accuracy is coded as 0 (incorrect) or 1 (correct) above.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC5037137&req=5

Figure 2: Likelihood of correct response on very long-term test plotted by response accuracy on short-term test and age, short-term accuracy is coded as 0 (incorrect) or 1 (correct) above.
Mentions: The final model included main effects for response at the short-term test, age, and delay from training, as well as an interaction between response at the short-term test and age (See Table 5). A trend emerged for a negative association between time delay since training (standardized) and log odds of correct response (z = -1.92, p = 0.06). No significant main effects or interactions emerged for any of the language-based predictors. Inclusion of PPVT-IV or either of the PLS-4 scores did not improve model fit. Thus, these language measures were dropped from the final model. No reliable effect of child accuracy on the long-term test on log odds of a correct response at the very-long-term test was detected (z = 0.30). A significant interaction between age and short-term test response emerged (z = 1.99, p < 0.05). Three-year-olds tended to show little effect of prior accuracy at the short-term test on very long-term performance. Four- and 5-year-old participants demonstrated increased log odds of a correct response at very long-term in association with a correct short-term response, and decreased log odds of a correct response at very long-term in association with an incorrect short-term response. See Figure 2.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

ABSTRACT

Research on word learning has focused on children&rsquo;s 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 children&rsquo;s 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), 2&ndash;3 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.

No MeSH data available.