Abstract: Memory for the temporal context associated with past events, and the ability to temporally organize events of our past, is a critical feature of episodic and autobiographical memory. Yet little is known about the development of temporal memory. One focus in my lab is to chart age-related changes in temporal memory and examine the neural substrates and processes that support these changes. I will present evidence of protracted development of the hippocampus, a neural structure implicated in temporal memory, using a direct (structural MRI) and indirect (eye tracking) assessment of hippocampal integrity. I then present a series of studies in which hippocampally-dependent processes (binding event and temporal context) and cortically-mediated processes (reconstruction, distance-based processes) are examined in school-aged children and young adults. We see protracted development in temporal memory and differences and continuity in the processes children and adults rely on to remember temporal context. Last, I discuss how memory for spatial context relates to the development of temporal context, and some of the other factors (semantic memory; language) that support memory for space and time in children and young adults. Together this work brings us closer to understanding the factors that drive age-related improvements in episodic memory.
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