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A Time and Place for Everything: Developmental Differences in the Building Blocks of Episodic Memory.

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This research investigated whether episodic memory development can be explained by improvements in relational binding processes, involved in forming novel associations between events and the context in which they occurred. Memory for item-space, item-time, and item-item relations was assessed in an ethnically diverse sample of 151 children aged 7-11 years and 28 young adults. Item-space memory reached adult performance by 9½ years, whereas item-time and item-item memory improved into adulthood. In path analysis, item-space, but not item-time best explained item-item memory. Across age groups, relational binding related to source memory and performance on standardized memory assessments. In conclusion, relational binding development depends on relation type, but relational binding overall supports episodic memory development.

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