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Developmental change in visual information processing under backward masking

Developmental change in visual information processing under backward masking

Journal of Experimental Child Psychology 17(1): 133-146

Four-year-olds, eight-year-olds, and college students were compared with respect to their speed and strategy for processing form information in a pointing-recognition task. The target form arrays, varying in size from one to four forms, were presented tachistoscopically, followed by a masking array at varying intervals. No age differences in processing speed were found on single-item arrays, but four-year-olds were progressively slower as array size increased. A selective processing condition resulted in longer processing times for all Ss but was differentially more difficult for four-year-olds. Under the full report conditions, all Ss showed a parallel independent processing strategy as array size increased from one to two items, but four-year-olds did not apply this strategy as efficiently as older Ss. As array size increased from two to four items, only adults and eight-year-olds continued to show parallel independent processing, up to a limit. This age difference in processing strategv for the largest arrays may underlie age differences that have been found in short-term memory capacity.

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Accession: 026396261

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PMID: 4816643

DOI: 10.1016/0022-0965(74)90011-3

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