An Electrophysiological Investigation of Source Memory Development in Early Childhood
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The present study examined source memory development in a sample of 4 and 6 year children. Patterns of brain electrical (EEG) activity were examined in order to provide a neural basis for the role of prefrontal cortex functioning during source monitoring. Children were taught a series of novel facts from two difference sources (either an experimenter or puppet) and their memory for both item and source information was later tested. Results demonstrated that, after controlling for language, patterns of frontal brain activity predicted 6 year item recall performance, and trends toward significance were observed for temporal brain activity predicting 6 year source recall performance. No associations between frontal or temporal EEG activity and episodic memory judgments were observed among 4-year-old children. Future investigations should examine how source memory, and on a more general level contextual memory binding, influence the development of episodic memory in early childhood.
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