Psykologisk Institut

Children below two years of age spontaneously recall an event with Magical Teddies

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It is typically challenging for two-year-olds to recollect memories upon demand. However, we know from diary studies that children spontaneously, ‘out of the blue’, recall memories about their past. Spontaneous retrieval may be less cognitively demanding because it is less dependent on prefrontal cortex and mainly relies on associative processes. However, spontaneous retrieval remains to be examined experimentally in children younger than age 3. We examined spontaneous retrieval by means of both verbal and nonverbal measures in fifty-two 23-months-old children in a controlled lab-setting. When returning to a distinct lab setting after one week, more than 44 % of the children had spontaneous recollections of a unique one-off Magical Teddies Event. This finding demonstrates that spontaneous recall of past events is present very early in childhood, which has implications for the understanding of memory development in young children.

TidsskriftCognitive Development
StatusUdgivet - apr. 2023

Bibliografisk note

Funding Information:
We would like to thank Emilie Kusk Nielsen for recruiting and testing participants, and Sofie Aamand and Emilie Buur Kristensen for coding the data and preparing data for later analysis. Furthermore, we would also like to thank the children who participated, and their parents for letting them participate. This study has been supported by the Danish National Research Foundation ( DNRF89 ) and the VELUX Foundation ( VELUX10386 ).

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 The Authors

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