Exploration of Item and Associative Memory through an Image Recognition Task
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The present study was designed to examine the memory performance of preterm children compared to that of full term. It is hypothesized that an individual born full term would have a greater memory than one who is born preterm. This assumption seems feasible because an individual born preterm does not have a fully developed brain; therefore, its cognitive functioning and processing, and thus memory, would be negatively affected. Thirty-two 5 to 6 year old children living in the greater metro- Detroit area were randomly selected to serve as participants in this study. Participants were given an item memory test in which they had to identify if they saw an image or not in the study phase. Participants were also given a pair memory test in which they had to identify if they saw the image pair or not in the study phase. The results reveal that preterm had a better memory performance on both the item and pair memory test as opposed to the full term participants, despite having IQ and socioeconomic status (SES) acting as covariate variables. It is known that the preterm participants had a better memory than the full term because the preterm had larger hippocampus volumes. However, the social factors that contributed to the preterm having a better memory than the full term is unknown. There are few explanations that might explain why these results occurred. Preterm had a better memory performance than the full term because the preterm either had: 1) higher socioeconomic statuses 2) and/or more access to educational and parental resources.