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Author Notes:

Corresponding author at: 36 Eagle Row, Department of Psychology, Emory University, Atlanta, GA 30322, USA. E-mail address: patricia.bauer@emory.edu (P.J. Bauer)

Conflict of interest: None.

Subjects:

Keywords:

  • Hippocampus
  • Learning
  • Memory integration
  • Prefrontal cortex
  • Self-derivation

Relations between neural structures and children's self-derivation of new knowledge through memory integration

Tools:

Journal Title:

Developmental Cognitive Neuroscience

Volume:

Volume 36

Publisher:

, Pages 100611-100611

Type of Work:

Article | Final Publisher PDF

Abstract:

Accumulation of semantic or factual knowledge is a major task during development. Knowledge builds through direct experience and explicit instruction as well as through productive processes that permit derivation of new understandings. In the present research, we tested the neural bases of the specific productive process of self-derivation of new factual knowledge through integration of separate yet related episodes of new learning. The process serves as an ecologically valid model of semantic knowledge accumulation. We tested structure/behavior relations in 5- to 8-year-old children, a period characterized by both age-related differences and individual variability in self-derivation, as well as in the neural regions implicated in memory integration, namely the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex. After controlling for the variance in task performance explained by age, sex, verbal IQ, and gray-matter volume (medial prefrontal cortex, mPFC, only), we observed relations between right mPFC thickness and memory for information explicitly taught to the children as well as the new information they self-derived; relations with the volume of the right hippocampus approached significance. This research provides the first evidence of the neural substrate that subserves children's accumulation of knowledge via self-derivation through memory integration, an empirically demonstrated, functionally significant learning mechanism.

Copyright information:

© 2018 The Authors

This is an Open Access work distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/).

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