Electrophysiological indices of memory for temporal order in early childhood: Implications for the development of recollection
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The ability to recall contextual details associated with an event begins to develop in the first year of life, yet adult levels of recall are not reached until early adolescence. Dual-process models of memory suggest that the distinct retrieval process that supports the recall of such contextual information is recollection. In the present investigation, we used both behavioral and electrophysiological measures to assess the development of memory for contextual details, as indexed by memory for temporal order, in early childhood. Results revealed age-related improvements in memory for temporal order despite similar levels of memory for the individual items themselves. Furthermore, this pattern of recall was associated with specific components in the electrophysiological response. Consistent with electrophysiological research in adults, distributed, positive going activity late in the waveform was associated with increases in recall of contextual details and the development of recollective processes.