Fwd: Babies' memories advance in second year, study says

From: Wade Smith (wade_smith@harvard.edu)
Date: Thu 07 Nov 2002 - 15:28:50 GMT

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    http://www.boston.com/dailyglobe2/309/science/Babies_memories_advance_in_second_year_study_saysP. shtml

    Babies' memories advance in second year, study says

    By Reuters, 11/5/2002

    LONDON - Babies' memories develop slowly in the first year of life but accelerate through the next 12 months, a group of American scientists said last week.

    The improvement is not just due to growing experience, they wrote in the science journal Nature, but also to the increasing capacity of the babies' brains in their second year.

    Researchers from Harvard University's department of psychology demonstrated to groups of 9-month-old, 17-month-old, and 24-month-old babies a series of simple actions such as wiping a table and throwing away the cloth, describing what they were doing at the same time.

    Four months later they asked the babies to carry out the actions on their own and without a further demonstration.

    ''As expected, the 21- and 28-month-olds showed a robust memory for events experienced four months earlier, whereas the 13-month-olds did not,'' they wrote. ''Our findings ... support the idea that maturation of the frontal lobe at the end of the first year contributes to memory enhancement during this period.

    ''Our results support the popular belief that at nine months the hippocampus and regions of the frontal cortex are not yet fully mature.''

    This story ran on page F3 of the Boston Globe on 11/5/2002.
    Copyright 2002 Globe Newspaper Company.

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