Recall memory in children with Down syndrome and typically developing peers matched on developmental age

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BackgroundWhereas research has indicated that children with Down syndrome (DS) imitate demonstrated actions over short delays, it is presently unknown whether children with DS recall information over lengthy delays at levels comparable with typically developing (TD) children matched on developmental age.MethodIn the present research, 10 children with DS and 10 TD children participated in a two-session study to examine basic processes associated with hippocampus-dependent recall memory. At the first session, the researcher demonstrated how to complete a three-step action sequence with novel stimuli; immediate imitation was permitted as an index of encoding. At the second session, recall memory was assessed for previously modelled sequences; children were also presented with two novel three-step control sequences.ResultsThe results indicated that group differences were not apparent in the encoding of the events or the forgetting of information over time. Group differences were also not observed when considering the recall of individual target actions at the 1-month delay, although TD children produced more target actions overall at the second session relative to children with DS. Group differences were found when considering memory for temporal order information, such that TD children evidenced recall relative to novel control sequences, whereas children with DS did not.ConclusionsThese findings suggest that children with DS may have difficulty with mnemonic processes associated with consolidation/storage and/or retrieval processes relative to TD children.

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