Context and Category Information in Children and Adults


An experiment by Dennis and Chapman (in press) found that as the length of a categorized list of materials increased, the false alarms to unrelated distracters decreased, a finding suggesting that adults are best described by context-noise models of recognition memory. Developmental evidence demonstrating that children the age of five are more sensitive to item information suggests that children might be described by item-noise models. We tested children and adults’ performance and eye movements during recognition and found that adults’ usage of category context was evident in both their performance and in their eye movements. Children, however, did not give conclusive evidence in their memory performance but their eye movements did not reflect usage of category context.

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