Developmental Changes in the Time-Dependent Nature of Memory Retrieval

Kimberly Boller, Carolyn Rovee-Collier, Dianne Borovsky, Julia O'Connor, Gary Shyi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

42 Scopus citations


Six-month-old infants trained in an operant conditioning procedure were allowed to forget the contingency and were presented with a reminder in a memory-reactivation paradigm. The time course of memory retrieval after the reminder, the relation between the forgetting functions of the newly acquired and the reactivated memory, and the potential contribution of the context to retention after long delays were investigated. Memory retrieval was found to be a time-locked process at 6 months, as at 3 months. Although retrieval was more rapid at the older age, the reactivated memory was more transient than the newly acquired memory at 6 months and remained accessible for a briefer period than at 3 months. A distinctive context was requisite for memory reactivation at 6 months but did not insure it. These studies reveal that the temporal parameters of memory processing change with age.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)770-779
Number of pages10
JournalDevelopmental psychology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 1990
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Demography
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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