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The University of Southampton
PsychologyOur news, events & seminars

Rehearsal and the development of verbal short-term memory Seminar

12:30 - 13:30
9 June 2016
University of Southampton, Highfield Campus, Building 44 (Shackleton), Room 3031/3033

For more information regarding this seminar, please telephone Sue McNally on 02380 595150 or email .

Event details

Verbal short-term memory (VSTM) undoubtedly improves across childhood, and understanding the causes of this increase is of both theoretical and practical importance, given links between VSTM function and vocabulary acquisition. An influential view is that apparent changes in VSTM capacity are instead reflective of development in the use of rehearsal to support performance, but in this talk I critique that position, before putting forward a radical reassessment of the status of rehearsal in VSTM development. I focus in particular on the claim that children undergo a qualitative change in their use of rehearsal around the age of 7. Here I show that key evidence to support this view can be explained simply in terms of the general improvements in memory capacity, and develop the implications of this novel account for both the development of VSTM and neuropsychological cases where VSTM is compromised.

Speaker information

Professor Christopher Jarrold, University of Bristol. My research focuses on children’s cognitive development, and particularly on the processes that underpin goal-directed behaviour and the maintenance of information in immediate memory. These abilities in turn affect children’s control of behaviour, and aspects of their language learning and educational attainment. Although my work is grounded in a detailed understanding of typical development, much of it is applied to developmental conditions including autism, Down syndrome, and Williams syndrome, and consequently it has both educational and clinical relevance.

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