Visual short-term memory (VSTM) is crucially important for tasks that are significant in infancy, such as developing hand-eye coordination and associating words with objects. Understanding how infants represent objects in VSTM is therefore central to understanding how they come to learn about the objects around them. In addition, individual difference in short-term memory are associated with differences in language comprehension abilities. Thus, understanding infants' short-term memory abilities will have a profound impact on understanding both normal and abnormal cognitive development. The broad goal of this project is to deepen our knoweldge of the early development of infants' VSTM for features and combinations of features. Research and theory have emphasized a division between representations of object identity features and representations of object location. These two classes of features are stored in functionally and anatomically segregated VSTM subsystems in adults, and we will examine whether infants' VSTM for these two different types of features have independent developmental time courses. In addition, a central issue in contemporary cognitive science is the binding of features into integrated object representations, and we will explore the development of feature binding in infant VSTM. This issue is particularly important in infancy because the ability to bind features is essential for an adult-like representation of objects. The proposed experiments will use a preference task that we have previously used to chart the development of VSTM for color. Using this task, we will (a) precisely measure the developmental time course of VSTM for object identity features (color and orientation; Experiments 1 and 2), (b) compare this developmental time course with the developmental time course of VSTM for location (Experiment 3), and (c) assess the development of the processes that bind features together in memory, for both bindings of two identity features and bindings of object identity features with location (Experiments 4, 5, and 6).

National Institute of Health (NIH)
Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health & Human Development (NICHD)
Research Project (R01)
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Cognition and Perception Study Section (CP)
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Freund, Lisa S
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University of California Davis
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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Oakes, Lisa M; Baumgartner, Heidi A; Kanjlia, Shipra et al. (2017) An eye tracking investigation of color-location binding in infants' visual short-term memory. Infancy 22:584-607
Oakes, Lisa M; Kovack-Lesh, Kristine A (2013) Infants' Visual Recognition Memory for a Series of Categorically Related Items. J Cogn Dev 4:63-86
Oakes, Lisa M; Baumgartner, Heidi A; Barrett, Frederick S et al. (2013) Developmental changes in visual short-term memory in infancy: evidence from eye-tracking. Front Psychol 4:697
Oakes, Lisa M; Hurley, Karinna B; Ross-Sheehy, Shannon et al. (2011) Developmental changes in infants' visual short-term memory for location. Cognition 118:293-305
Ross-Sheehy, Shannon; Oakes, Lisa M; Luck, Steven J (2011) Exogenous attention influences visual short-term memory in infants. Dev Sci 14:490-501
Perone, Sammy; Madole, Kelly L; Oakes, Lisa M (2011) Learning how actions function: the role of outcomes in infants' representation of events. Infant Behav Dev 34:351-62
Horst, Jessica S; Ellis, Ann E; Samuelson, Larissa K et al. (2009) Toddlers can adaptively change how they categorize: same objects, same session, two different categorical distinctions. Dev Sci 12:96-105
Oakes, Lisa M; Kovack-Lesh, Kristine A; Horst, Jessica S (2009) Two are better than one: comparison influences infants' visual recognition memory. J Exp Child Psychol 104:124-31
Oakes, Lisa M (2009) The ""Humpty Dumpty Problem"" in the Study of Early Cognitive Development: Putting the Infant Back Together Again. Perspect Psychol Sci 4:352-358
Oakes, Lisa M; Messenger, Ian M; Ross-Sheehy, Shannon et al. (2009) New evidence for rapid development of color-location binding in infants' visual short-term memory. Vis cogn 17:67-82

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