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Redintegration and lexicality effects in children: do they depend upon the demands of the memory task?


, : Redintegration and lexicality effects in children: do they depend upon the demands of the memory task?. Memory & Cognition 32(3): 501-510

The effect of long-term knowledge upon performance in short-term memory tasks was examined for children from 5 to 10 years of age. The emergence of a lexicality effect, in which familiar words were recalled more accurately than unfamiliar words, was found to depend upon the nature of the memory task. Lexicality effects were interpreted as reflecting the use of redintegration, or reconstruction processes, in short-term memory. Redintegration increased with age for tasks requiring spoken item recall and decreased with age when position information but not naming was required. In a second experiment, redintegration was found in a recognition task when some of the foils rhymed with the target. Older children were able to profit from a rhyming foil, whereas younger children were confused by it, suggesting that the older children make use of sublexical phonological information in reconstructing the target. It was proposed that redintegrative processes in their mature form support the reconstruction of detailed phonological knowledge of words.

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PMID: 15285132


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