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The development of spatial relational memory in children.

Applicant Banta Lavenex Pamela
Number 122844
Funding scheme Marie Heim-Voegtlin grants
Research institution Unité de Physiologie Département de Médecine Université de Fribourg
Institution of higher education University of Fribourg - FR
Main discipline Neurophysiology and Brain Research
Start/End 01.01.2009 - 31.12.2009
Approved amount 108'672.00
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Keywords (5)

memory; children; development; hippocampus; space

Lay Summary (English)

Lead
Lay summary
The acquisition of episodic memory, the memory for events that happen in a unique spatiotemporal context, is dependent on the hippocampal formation in adult humans. Still, our understanding of the specific neural circuits underlying episodic memory, and our knowledge of how these systems develop, is very much incomplete. For instance, the emergence of allocentric spatial relational memory, a fundamental component of episodic memory, has not been characterized. Here, I propose to investigate the development of allocentric spatial relational memory in young (2-6-year-old) children. Specifically, I will characterize the ability of children to use spatial and non-spatial relational information to navigate in a real-world open-field environment. My findings will thus 1) allow me to infer the relative maturity of different cognitive functions supported by the hippocampus, and 2) further our understanding of the normal development of spatial relational memory, a fundamental component of human episodic memory.
Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 21.02.2013

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Number Title Start Funding scheme
128996 The development of spatial relational memory in children. 01.01.2010 Marie Heim-Voegtlin grants

Abstract

The acquisition of episodic memory, the memory for events that happen in a unique spatiotemporal context, is dependent on the hippocampal formation in adult humans. Still, our understanding of the specific neural circuits underlying episodic memory, and our knowledge of how these systems develop, is very much incomplete. For instance, the emergence of allocentric spatial relational memory, a fundamental component of episodic memory, has not been characterized. Here, I propose to investigate the development of allocentric spatial relational memory in young (2-6-year-old) children. Specifically, I will characterize the ability of children to use spatial and non-spatial relational information to navigate in a real-world open-field environment. My findings will thus 1) allow me to infer the relative maturity of different cognitive functions supported by the hippocampus, and 2) further our understanding of the normal development of spatial relational memory, a fundamental component of human episodic memory.
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