Remembering things without context: Development matters

Jamie O. Edgin, Goffredina Spanò, Kevin Kawa, Lynn Nadel

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations


Spatial context supports memory retrieval in adults. To understand the development of these effects, context effects on object recognition were tested in neurotypical children ages 3 years to adulthood (n 3-6 years = 34, n 10-16 years = 32, n college age = 22) and individuals with Down syndrome (DS) ages 10-29 years (n = 21). Participants engaged in an object recognition task; objects were presented in scenes and either remained in that same scene or were removed at test. In some groups (< 4.5 years and with DS) context effects were present even though object recognition was poor. After 4.5 years, children demonstrated memory flexibility, while later in adolescence context effects reemerged, showing nonlinearity in the development of these effects.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1491-1502
Number of pages12
JournalChild development
Issue number4
StatePublished - 2014

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology


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