Infancy and Early Development

Introduction to Retention of Memory in Infants

Memory retention in infants has been around many theories and research. Still, it is not clear whether the infants can memorize things well or not. When children are able to memorize things, it also becomes a point for how long they can do it. There are several competencies that would be discussed in the essay related to memory retention in infants of 36 months old. In order to be more precise, two methods would be analyzed and applied and the results would be evaluated in order to weigh the success of the procedures applied in memory retention. Memory is related to cognitive development therefore it becomes important to relate them together and infer the competencies of the methods applied. There are many ways through which retention in memory can be done. Several tests and tricks that can be implemented on memorizing precision to kids are elicited and deferred imitation and visual comparison tests.

These above-mentioned methods would be discussed further in the essay and would be evaluated in effectiveness of memory retention in infants.

As stated by Bauer et al., (2010), in their empirical research the methods that can be intervened are the process of imitation, conjugate reinforcement, and visual comparison period task. In their research, these methods have been suggested due to its efficacy in obtaining the desired results (Bauer et al., 2010). From the above mentioned procedures, two of these would be discussed and evaluated. According to the articles of empirical research conducted by Kolling & Knopf, in the field of memory retention, the two most effective ways chosen that can elaborately describe the methodology for retention is Conjugate reinforcement and imitation through elicit and deferred methods by infants (Kolling & Knopf, 2015).

In the research conducted by Revillo et al., (2015), there are substantial proofs provided in measuring the efficacy of the procedures, and factors that influence the retention are also discussed. The discussions in the research are based on ecological models and reviews of the retention from the last two decades (Revillo et al.,2015).

As stated by Hayne et al., (2016), the articles of empirical findings for memory retention helps in assessing and choosing the best out of the prescribed methods that have been in use for a long time (Hayne et al., 2016).

Conjugate reinforcement is the most valid and established of all the ways to measure the retention of memory in kids. This method is a new measure of the attention that has emerged from the branch of experimental psychology. It is defined and efficient enough to provide an accurate measurement of attention to the stimulus. In this method, the time of the stimulus is varied and depends on the rate of response of the attention. According to the empirical research done by Hayne et al., (2015), it was evaluated that the counterpart of this method is mobile conjugate reinforcement that has been used for assessing the memory of the infants and the duration of the retention. It is actually operant learning training where the kids are provided with operant and they are supposed to achieve their targets (Hayne et al., 2015). The most common way is adding the mobile phone as an operant. That is also a reason why this method is mentioned to be as mobile conjugate reinforcement. It is done by attaching the ribbon on the infant's feet from one side. The other side is attached to a mobile phone. The kicks of the kid do not allow the mobile to move. But when the kids move their legs that causes shaking in the mobile. If the mobile produces a rhythm, it could be felt by the kid as the ribbon is attached to one of the infant's feet. According to Schneider & Ornstein, (2015), the kicks and the recognition of mobile phones is all about retention and acquisition. The retention of the identification of the gadget and acquiring the fact that it is a mobile phone. It is all possible due to the stimulus it produces on the infant. The use of mobile phones can be justified here because the human mind is quite sensitive to any rhythmic movement and helps in developing memory in the infants (Schneider & Ornstein, 2015). Thus it can be taken as a methodology based on the stimuli that mobile phones inhibit on the infant. The mobile phone works here as an operation that would help the child recognize the stimuli and he would act according to it. According to Wong-Kee-You & Adler, (2016), the positioning of the eye movement is also an important factor in conjugate reinforcement. The movement of eye is taken as an anticipatory factor in adhering to the memory retention in infants because it determines what the infant is looking at and that would be the thing he would retain (Wong-Kee-You & Adler, 2016). This process aims to provide the most important factor that the infants do have a tendency to retain memory and they can effectively perceive it with an outer operant or stimulus. According to Pelaez & Monlux, (2017), it is one of the best and modernized versions of operant methodologies that can be applied in reviewing the memory retention in infants in laboratory settings (Pelaez & Monlux, 2017).

As it is known that the children imitate whatever they see and come across in their life. Imitation in an overall term is the most basic way through which the society works. It is due to imitation that the customs and beliefs continue to stay alive throughout the centuries. The imitation factor is also applied in retention of the memory in infants. The instances of imitation such as deferred imitation are imitations by children from what they see their parents doing. This form of imitation shows short term exposure that is enough to change the behavior in infants. It is the controlling of the infant’s actions and then the actions are accumulated in the long-term memory actions. For example, when a small infant of 3 years old watches his father shaving, it is detrimental that he would imitate it. This imitation and the watching of the action for a course of time makes the action permanent in the memory of the kid. The kid then accumulates it and makes it his part of life. The memory also works in the same case. It is because the visual demonstration works well with kids. The kids tend to make visuals of the things they hear and see. This can be easily proved through educational psychology because when a kid is taught to say “A for Apple”, he somehow constructs the image of the apple in his mind in order to relate to whatever is taught. Thus deferred imitation works well in case of preserving the memory in infants. Deferred imitation is also regarded as an important step in enabling early cognitive development in children. According to Piaget, the inability of this imitation is necessary in order to create synchronization of actions and memory. It also helps in creating object permanence in the children. It is thus also the responsibility of the teachers to keep good behavior in front of children. The classmates in the playschool must also be instructed by the teacher to show good behavior. It is often seen in deferred imitation that the tantrums that one child throws at his parents if observed by others, tend to behave the same way. It is due to the memory recognition of the actions that are observed by the child. The deferred and elicit imitation in infants is actually a brief display of what adults do and the behavior is copied by the kids that comprise a sequence of actions. The best examples that can be assumed in this case are the girls copying her mother while playing with the cooking sets. On the other hand, boys imitate their father during their day-to-day work activities in their playtime such as going to the office or taking the dog for a walk.

Through elicit imitation, the educator can receive and judge the reception of the memory by the kids. The elicited imitation is an effective way to perform follow up tests in order to receive the outcome of expression through memory. This imitation can predict the problems related to speech, and language as well as articulatory issues. It is basically the repetition of the words or sentences by the educators so that the kids memorize whatever is said in that pattern. For example, the recitation of rhymes and other moral stories in the play way method of teaching can be an effective medium for correcting the verbal issues thereby increasing the efficacy of the memorization in infants.

According to Lukowski & Milojevich, (2016), this repetition can effectively work in building memory in children and can be applied by the teachers. The infants can memorize easily if the rhythm is provided in the process of repetition. This method of adding rhythm is also very effective in making the kids learn poems and rhymes or even daily prayers that they need to recite (Lukowski & Milojevich, 2016).

These methods are helpful in attaining memory retention because many of the activities that are imitated are carried forward in life by the kids that are imitated in this stage. The cognition and memory both work here equally. The retention can be seen in the educational centers where they are sent to study. They also tend to imitate their teachers while playing. Parents must put forward good habits in front of the kids so that they imitate good things and through that process learn etiquettes and good manners (Lukowski & Milojevich, 2016).

The main key finding between these above-discussed methods is both put an emphasis on memory retention. The modus operandi in both methods is related to the discussion of enhancing and retaining memory that would be acquired throughout life. Imitation can help in learning about the rules and even the rituals of the family by the child. It is through imitation a child learns a lot about habits, culture, and ways of greetings in the family and it is retained throughout life. The mobile conjugate method is bit scientifical as required equipment and experts for follow up. It is a well-established method in finding the retention and acquisition of infants.

Conclusion on Retention of Memory in Infants

The above-discussed methods of memory retention in infants play an important role in building the memory and retentivity of facts in infants. The researches and the methods applied have been proved to be effective in getting positive results in retention of memory.

References for Retention of Memory in Infants

Bauer, P. J., San Souci, P., & Pathman, T. (2010). Infant memory. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Cognitive Science, 1(2), 267–277. https://doi.org/10.1002/wcs.38

‌Hayne, H., Imuta, K., & Scarf, A. D. (2015). Memory development during infancy and early childhood across cultures. International encyclopedia of the social & behavioral sciences, 3, 147-154.

Hayne, H., Jaeger, K., Sonne, T., & Gross, J. (2016). Visual attention to meaningful stimuli by 1- to 3-year olds: implications for the measurement of memory. Developmental Psychobiology, 58(7), 808–816. https://doi.org/10.1002/dev.21455

‌Kolling, T., & Knopf, M. (2015). Measuring declarative memory from infancy to childhood: The Frankfurt imitation tests for infants and children aged 12–36 months. European Journal of Developmental Psychology, 12(3), 359–376. https://doi.org/10.1080/17405629.2015.1015515

Lukowski, A. F., & Milojevich, H. M. (2016). Examining Recall Memory in Infancy and Early Childhood Using the Elicited Imitation Paradigm. Journal of Visualized Experiments, (110). https://doi.org/10.3791/53347

‌‌Merz, E. C., McDonough, L., Huang, Y. L., Foss, S., Werner, E., & Monk, C. (2017). The mobile conjugate reinforcement paradigm in a lab setting. Developmental Psychobiology, 59(5), 668–672. https://doi.org/10.1002/dev.21520

Pelaez, M., & Monlux, K. (2017). Operant conditioning methodologies to investigate infant learning. European Journal of Behavior Analysis, 18(2), 212–241. https://doi.org/10.1080/15021149.2017.1412633

Revillo, D. A., Cotella, E., Paglini, M. G., & Arias, C. (2015). Contextual learning and context effects during infancy: 30years of controversial research revisited. Physiology & Behavior, 148, 6–21. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.physbeh.2015.02.012

Schneider, W., & Ornstein, P. A. (2015). The Development of Children’s Memory. Child Development Perspectives, 9(3), 190–195. https://doi.org/10.1111/cdep.12129

‌Wong-Kee-You, A. M. B., & Adler, S. A. (2016). Anticipatory eye movements and long-term memory in early infancy. Developmental Psychobiology, 58(7), 841–851. https://doi.org/10.1002/dev.21472

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