Deferred imitation (DI) is an established memory paradigm that reflects early individual differences but the neural activity underlying DI is to a large extent uncharted. Thus, the present study investigated the relationship between event-related potentials (ERP) and behavioral (DI) indices of learning.
Thirty 14-months-old children participated in the study, of which 15 (9 boys) had acceptable ERP data to be included in the analysis. DI was measured with the observation-only design using three actions and a 30 min delay. ERP was recorded with a High Density Net (128 electrodes) and the learning phase consisted of two pairs of pictures presented six times (PRES 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6) while the test phase consisted of two violations: Associating two familiar pictures in a new combination (ASSO) or associating one familiar picture with a novel picture (NOV).
The mean score of DI was 1.87 (SD = 1.06) and ERP data revealed an Nc within 300-600 ms post stimuli. The mean amplitude was higher for ASSO compared with PRES 5 and 6 (p < .05) but not between NOV and PRES 5 (p = .055) and PRES 6 (ns). Larger Nc change scores (ASSO - PRES5) correlated with better DI performance, rs (15) = .57; p < .05.
These findings, if upheld in further analyses, suggest that behavioral memory performance is related to attention processes as reflected in the observed Nc.
(FUNDING: Swedish Council for Working Life and Social Research # 2006-1040)
2010. 702-702 p.
43rd Annual Meeting of the International Society for Developmental Psychobiology