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Development of autonoetic autobiographical memory in school-age children: genuine age effect or development of basic cognitive abilities?: Development of autonoetic autobiographical memory

Abstract : This study investigated the mechanisms behind episodic autobiographical memory (EAM) development in school-age children. Thirty children (6-11years) performed a novel EAM test. We computed one index of episodicity via autonoetic consciousness and two indices of retrieval spontaneity (overall and EAM-specific) for a recent period (previous school year) and a more remote one (preschool years). Executive functions, and episodic and personal semantic memory were assessed. Results showed that recent autobiographical memories (AMs) were mainly episodic, unlike remote ones. An age-related increase in the indices of episodicity and specific spontaneity for recent AMs was mainly mediated by an age-related increase in the efficiency of the three cognitive abilities. Remote AMs varied only slightly with age (overall spontaneity), reflecting improvements in semantic abilities. Thus, EAM development in school-age children is essentially bound up with the increasing efficiency of cognitive abilities. Results are discussed in the light of models of childhood amnesia.
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Laurence Picard, Isméry Reffuveille, Francis Eustache, Pascale Piolino. Development of autonoetic autobiographical memory in school-age children: genuine age effect or development of basic cognitive abilities?: Development of autonoetic autobiographical memory. Consciousness and Cognition, Elsevier, 2009, 18 (4), pp.864-76. ⟨10.1016/j.concog.2009.07.008⟩. ⟨inserm-00538468⟩

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