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How does episodic memory develop in adolescence?

Accepted version
Peer-reviewed

Type

Article

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Authors

Mechie, Imogen R 
Plaisted-Grant, Kate 

Abstract

Key areas of the episodic memory (EM) network demonstrate changing structure and volume during adolescence. EM is multifaceted and yet studies of EM thus far have largely examined single components, used different methods and have unsurprisingly yielded inconsistent results. The Treasure Hunt task is a single paradigm that allows parallel investigation of memory content, associative structure, and the impact of different retrieval support. Combining the cognitive and neurobiological accounts, we hypothesized that some elements of EM performance may decline in late adolescence owing to considerable restructuring of the hippocampus at this time. Using the Treasure Hunt task, we examined EM performance in 80 participants aged 10-17 yr. Results demonstrated a cubic trajectory with youngest and oldest participants performing worst. This was emphasized in associative memory, which aligns well with existing literature indicating hippocampal restructuring in later adolescence. It is proposed that memory development may follow a nonlinear path as children approach adulthood, but that future work is required to confirm and extend the trends demonstrated in this study.

Description

Keywords

Adolescent, Adult, Child, Hippocampus, Humans, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Memory, Episodic, Mental Recall

Journal Title

Learn Mem

Conference Name

Journal ISSN

1072-0502
1549-5485

Volume Title

28

Publisher

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory

Rights

All rights reserved