Medial temporal lobe memory in childhood: developmental transitions

Elise L. Townsend, Jenny L. Richmond, Vanessa K. Vogel-Farley, Kathleen Thomas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


The medial temporal lobes (MTL) support declarative memory and mature structurally and functionally during the postnatal years in humans. Although recent work has addressed the development of declarative memory in early childhood, less is known about continued development beyond this period of time. The purpose of this investigation was to explore MTL-dependent memory across middle childhood. Children (6-10 years old) and adults completed two computerized tasks, place learning (PL) and transitive inference (TI), that each examined relational memory, as well as the flexible use of relational learning. Findings suggest that the development of relational memory precedes the development of the ability to use relational knowledge flexibly in novel situations. Implications for the development of underlying brain areas and ideas for future neuroimaging investigations are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)738-751
Number of pages14
JournalDevelopmental Science
Issue number5
StatePublished - Sep 2010


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