Early declarative memory predicts productive language: A longitudinal study of deferred imitation and communication at 9 and 16 months
2016 (English)In: Journal of experimental child psychology (Print), ISSN 0022-0965, E-ISSN 1096-0457, no 16Article in journal (Refereed) In press
Deferred imitation (DI) may be regarded as an early declarative-like memory ability shaping the infant's ability to learn about novelties and regularities of the surrounding world. In the current longitudinal study, infants were assessed at 9 and 16months. DI was assessed using five novel objects. Each infant's communicative development was measured by parental questionnaires. The results indicate stability in DI performance and early communicative development between 9 and 16months. The early achievers at 9months were still advanced at 16months. Results also identified a predictive relationship between the infant's gestural development at 9months and the infant's productive and receptive language at 16months. Moreover, the results show that declarative memory, measured with DI, and gestural communication at 9months independently predict productive language at 16months. These findings suggest a connection between the ability to form non-linguistic and linguistic mental representations. These results indicate that the child's DI ability when predominantly preverbal might be regarded as an early domain-general declarative memory ability underlying early productive language development.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. no 16
Declarative memory; Deferred imitation; Gestural Communication; Infant development; Productive Language; Receptive Language
Psychology (excluding Applied Psychology)
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-126873DOI: 10.1016/j.jecp.2016.01.015PubMedID: 26925719OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-126873DiVA: diva2:917248