We thank all the children who participated in the experiments and the school teachers for their cooperation. We also thank Dr. Bo-Cheng Kuo and the Brain and Cognition lab for their continuous intellectual input. A.S. was supported by a Bodossaki scholarship, St Peter's College, University of Oxford from the Bodossaki Foundation, Greece and by a grant by the A.G. Leventis Foundation. D.A. was supported by a Postdoctoral Fellowship from the British Academy. G.S. and A.C.N. were supported by Welcome Trust grants.
Orienting Attention Within Visual Short-Term Memory: Development and Mechanisms
Version of Record online: 12 AUG 2013
© 2013 The Authors. Child Development © 2013 Society for Research in Child Development, Inc.
Volume 85, Issue 2, pages 578–592, March/April 2014
How to Cite
Shimi, A., Nobre, A. C., Astle, D. and Scerif, G. (2014), Orienting Attention Within Visual Short-Term Memory: Development and Mechanisms. Child Development, 85: 578–592. doi: 10.1111/cdev.12150
- Issue online: 17 MAR 2014
- Version of Record online: 12 AUG 2013
- Bodossaki Foundation
- A.G. Leventis Foundation
- British Academy
- Welcome Trust
How does developing attentional control operate within visual short-term memory (VSTM)? Seven-year-olds, 11-year-olds, and adults (total n = 205) were asked to report whether probe items were part of preceding visual arrays. In Experiment 1, central or peripheral cues oriented attention to the location of to-be-probed items either prior to encoding or during maintenance. Cues improved memory regardless of their position, but younger children benefited less from cues presented during maintenance, and these benefits related to VSTM span over and above basic memory in uncued trials. In Experiment 2, cues of low validity eliminated benefits, suggesting that even the youngest children use cues voluntarily, rather than automatically. These findings elucidate the close coupling between developing visuospatial attentional control and VSTM.