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ERIC Number: EJ865283
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009-Dec
Pages: 28
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 71
ISSN: ISSN-0096-1523
Tests of the Dynamic Field Theory and The Spatial Precision Hypothesis: Capturing a Qualitative Developmental Transition in Spatial Working Memory
Schutte, Anne R.; Spencer, John P.
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance, v35 n6 p1698-1725 Dec 2009
This study tested a dynamic field theory (DFT) of spatial working memory and an associated spatial precision hypothesis (SPH). Between 3 and 6 years of age, there is a qualitative shift in how children use reference axes to remember locations: 3-year-olds' spatial recall responses are biased toward reference axes after short memory delays, whereas 6-year-olds' responses are biased away from reference axes. According to the DFT and the SPH, quantitative improvements over development in the precision of excitatory and inhibitory working memory processes lead to this qualitative shift. Simulations of the DFT in Experiment 1 predict that improvements in precision should cause the spatial range of targets attracted toward a reference axis to narrow gradually over development, with repulsion emerging and gradually increasing until responses to most targets show biases away from the axis. Results from Experiment 2 with 3- to 5-year-olds support these predictions. Simulations of the DFT in Experiment 3 quantitatively fit the empirical results and offer insights into the neural processes underlying this developmental change. (Contains 3 tables and 17 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A