Children May Forget Today, Remember Tomorrow Children may be able to recall information better after a few days than on the day they learned it, according to new research from Ohio State University. The study examined this cognitive phenomenon of “delayed remembering” by asking children to memorize object associations in a video game in two separate ... Research in Brief
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Research in Brief  |   December 01, 2015
Children May Forget Today, Remember Tomorrow
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Development / Professional Issues & Training / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Research in Brief
Research in Brief   |   December 01, 2015
Children May Forget Today, Remember Tomorrow
The ASHA Leader, December 2015, Vol. 20, online only. doi:10.1044/leader.RIB3.20122015.np
The ASHA Leader, December 2015, Vol. 20, online only. doi:10.1044/leader.RIB3.20122015.np
Children may be able to recall information better after a few days than on the day they learned it, according to new research from Ohio State University.
The study examined this cognitive phenomenon of “delayed remembering” by asking children to memorize object associations in a video game in two separate attempts. Participants who replayed the game for the second time two days later scored nearly 25 percent higher than those who replayed the game on the same day.
“It seems surprising that children can almost completely forget what they just learned, but then their memories can actually improve with time,” says lead author Vladimir Sloutsky, professor of psychology at Ohio State and director of the university’s Cognitive Development Lab. “[It gives] us a window into understanding memory and, in particular, the issue of encoding new information into memory.”

“It seems surprising that children can almost completely forget what they just learned, but then their memories can actually improve with time.”

In the same study, Sloutsky and his team also observed “extreme forgetting,” which occurs when children learn one piece of information and then a second piece immediately after, causing them to forget the first bit of information.
Eighty-two 4- and 5-year-old preschool students in central Ohio participated in the study, published in the journal Psychological Science. All of the children played two different versions of a video game that associated objects with either Mickey Mouse or Winnie the Pooh. During both games, their beginning scores averaged around 60 percent and their ending scores averaged at about 90 percent.
Half of the children then played the first version of the game again later that day, again starting with 60 percent average scores and climbing to 90 percent, showing they hadn’t recalled any of the information to give them a boost in the beginning—and demonstrating extreme forgetting. The other half of the children waited two days to play the game again; their beginning scores averaged at 85 percent, then climbed to around 90 percent again.
Sloutsky says the study shows that giving children more time to absorb and remember information can help with recall, but notes that “it’s not … a method for super-charging how much they can remember.”
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December 2015
Volume 20, Issue 12