Since the pioneering work of Atkinson and Shiffrin (1968), many investigators have examined the concept of short-term memory (STM). The most influential model (Baddeley & Hitch, 1974) describes a working memory (WM) system involved in immediate maintenance of information and its simultaneous elaboration. Baddeley (1986) offered a tripartite model of WM, distinguishing between the central executive, a system responsible for several regulatory functions, and two slave systems specialized for maintaining either verbal (articulatory loop) or visuo-spatial information (visuo-spatial sketchpad). The distinctions made between the central executive system and specific memory storage systems in some ways parallel the distinctions made between WM and STM. WM is referred to as a processing resource of limited capacity, involved in the preservation of information while simultaneously processing the same or other information. In contrast, STM typically involves situations where small amounts of material are held passively, and are then reproduced in a sequential fashion (e.g., digit or word span tasks). More recently Cornoldi & Vecchi (2003) hypothesized that STM and WM tasks may be distinguished according to the level of control. Control might be defined on the basis of the degree of active processing required to manipulate information maintained in a temporary memory system. Some studies on the development of memory have showed that STM and WM abilities of children increase up to adolescence, with typically a two to three fold expansion in memory capacity occurring between 6 and 14 years of age (Gathercole, et al. 2004). Moreover, possible sources of age related changes in WM include increases in processing efficiency, attentive capacity and task switching (Gathercole, 1999). However, only few studies have been carried out on STM and WM in preschooler and this is in part due to the lack of tasks suitable for young children. To this purpose a battery of tasks, suitable for children aged between 4 and 6 years, was created. The battery has been built according Baddeley’s and Cornoldi and Vecchi’s memory model and it assess verbal and visuo-spatial STM and verbal and visuo-spatial WM. In the present study the tasks have been administered to 509 children. The study suggests the suitability of these tasks for children of this age. Results indicate a considerable development of each STM and WM component in preschooler. Finally these preliminary data suggest a good reliability and validity of the battery.

A battery for assessing short-term and working memory in preschoolers: preliminary results

LANFRANCHI, SILVIA;VIANELLO, RENZO
2008

Abstract

Since the pioneering work of Atkinson and Shiffrin (1968), many investigators have examined the concept of short-term memory (STM). The most influential model (Baddeley & Hitch, 1974) describes a working memory (WM) system involved in immediate maintenance of information and its simultaneous elaboration. Baddeley (1986) offered a tripartite model of WM, distinguishing between the central executive, a system responsible for several regulatory functions, and two slave systems specialized for maintaining either verbal (articulatory loop) or visuo-spatial information (visuo-spatial sketchpad). The distinctions made between the central executive system and specific memory storage systems in some ways parallel the distinctions made between WM and STM. WM is referred to as a processing resource of limited capacity, involved in the preservation of information while simultaneously processing the same or other information. In contrast, STM typically involves situations where small amounts of material are held passively, and are then reproduced in a sequential fashion (e.g., digit or word span tasks). More recently Cornoldi & Vecchi (2003) hypothesized that STM and WM tasks may be distinguished according to the level of control. Control might be defined on the basis of the degree of active processing required to manipulate information maintained in a temporary memory system. Some studies on the development of memory have showed that STM and WM abilities of children increase up to adolescence, with typically a two to three fold expansion in memory capacity occurring between 6 and 14 years of age (Gathercole, et al. 2004). Moreover, possible sources of age related changes in WM include increases in processing efficiency, attentive capacity and task switching (Gathercole, 1999). However, only few studies have been carried out on STM and WM in preschooler and this is in part due to the lack of tasks suitable for young children. To this purpose a battery of tasks, suitable for children aged between 4 and 6 years, was created. The battery has been built according Baddeley’s and Cornoldi and Vecchi’s memory model and it assess verbal and visuo-spatial STM and verbal and visuo-spatial WM. In the present study the tasks have been administered to 509 children. The study suggests the suitability of these tasks for children of this age. Results indicate a considerable development of each STM and WM component in preschooler. Finally these preliminary data suggest a good reliability and validity of the battery.
New Research on Short-Term Memory.
9781604565485
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/2446308
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