Development of auditory sensory memory from 2 to 6 years: an MMN study
- 256 Downloads
Short-term storage of auditory information is thought to be a precondition for cognitive development, and deficits in short-term memory are believed to underlie learning disabilities and specific language disorders. We examined the development of the duration of auditory sensory memory in normally developing children between the ages of 2 and 6 years. To probe the lifetime of auditory sensory memory we elicited the mismatch negativity (MMN), a component of the late auditory evoked potential, with tone stimuli of two different frequencies presented with various interstimulus intervals between 500 and 5,000 ms. Our findings suggest that memory traces for tone characteristics have a duration of 1–2 s in 2- and 3-year-old children, more than 2 s in 4-year-olds and 3–5 s in 6-year-olds. The results provide insights into the maturational processes involved in auditory sensory memory during the sensitive period of cognitive development.
KeywordsAuditory sensory memory Duration of memory trace Event-related potential Mismatch negativity (MMN) Children Maturation
We thank Monika Hage and Elisabeth Greiner for their assistance in collecting the EEG data. We are also particularly grateful to all the children and their parents for participating in this study. Parts of the results have been generated in the context of the doctoral thesis of E. Glass at the medical faculty of the University of Munich (LMU Munich) (in preparation). This research was supported by the Friedrich-Baur-Stiftung, grant 0057/2006 awarded to S. S.
- Baddeley AD, Hitch GJ (1974) Working memory. In: Bower GA (ed) Recent advances in learning and motivation. Academic Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
- Cowan N (1995) Attention and memory: an integrated framework. Oxford University Press, OxfordGoogle Scholar
- Gathercole SE (2001) Short-term and working memory. Psychology Press, HoveGoogle Scholar