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Memory. 2000 May;8(3):179-93.

Working memory: a developmental study of phonological recoding.

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Centre for Human Communication and Deafness, School of Education, University of Manchester, UK.


A cross-sectional study using children aged 3 to 7 years and a cross-sequential study using children aged between 5 and 8 years showed that the development of phonological recoding in working memory was more complex than the simple dichotomous picture portrayed in the current literature. It appears that initially children use no strategy in recall, which is proposed to represent the level of automatic activation of representations in long-term memory and the storage capacity of the central executive. This is followed by a period in which a visual strategy prevails, followed by a period of dual visual-verbal coding before the adult-like strategy of verbal coding finally emerges. The results are discussed in terms of three working memory models (Baddeley, 1990; Engle, 1996; Logie, 1996) where strategy use is seen as the development of attentional processes and phonological recoding as the development of inhibitory mechanisms in the central executive to suppress the habitual response set of visual coding.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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