Memory for social interactions throughout early childhood

Vishnu P. Murty, Matthew R. Fain, Christina Hlutkowsky, Susan B. Perlman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Previous research shows that forming memories of not only whom we have previously encountered but also the feedback of those encounters supports adaptive behavior. However, there are dynamic changes throughout childhood in declarative memory systems, leaving open the question about the precise timing for the emergence and maturation of memory for social interactions. In this study, we characterized memory for dynamic social interactions during a computerized task in children ranging between 4 and 6 years of age. Specifically, we probed memory for the characters children interacted with, the decisions they made, and the valanced-feedback from those interactions. We found that while there were differences in discriminating between old and new characters, there were no age-related differences in the ability to remember which decision a child made or the feedback from that decision when a character was successfully identified. These findings support a model by which basic foundations of social memory develop early in childhood; however, the number of social memories and the incorporation of feedback into these memories may be limited in early childhood.

Original languageEnglish
Article number104324
StatePublished - Sep 2020


  • Decision-making
  • Development
  • Early childhood
  • Episodic memory
  • Feedback
  • Social interactions


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