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Reinstatement versus Reactivation Effects on Active Memory in Infants

Summary: Reinstatement versus Reactivation Effects
on Active Memory in Infants
Scott A. Adler, Amy Wilk, and Carolyn Rovee-Collier
Rutgers University
Reinstatement and reactivation are procedurally different reminder paradigms used with
infants and children, but most developmental psychologists do not distinguish between
them. In 4 experiments with 102 three-month-olds, we asked if they differ functionally as
well. Independent groups of infants received either a reactivation or a reinstatement
reminder 3 days after training, when the memory is active, but its specific details have
been forgotten. In Experiment 1, we measured retention after increasing delays until
infants forgot altogether. A single reinstatement protracted retention twice as long after
training as a single reactivation. In Experiments 24, whether the reminder was the
original training stimulus or a novel one differentially affected the duration and specificity
of memory in the 2 procedures as well. These data demonstrate that the distinction
between reinstatement and reactivation is not artificial. In addition to differing procedur-
ally, reinstatement and reactivation differ functionally, with different memory-preserving
effects. 2000 Academic Press
Key Words: infants; long-term memory; retention; reminders; reactivation; reinstate-
ment; specificity.
Two reminder paradigms that are increasingly used in memory studies with


Source: Adler, Scott A. - Centre for Vision Research & Department of Psychology, York University (Toronto)


Collections: Biology and Medicine