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Journal Article

Abilities and Neural Mechanisms Underlying AB̄ Performance

Adele Diamond
Child Development
Vol. 59, No. 2 (Apr., 1988), pp. 523-527
Published by: Wiley on behalf of the Society for Research in Child Development
DOI: 10.2307/1130330
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/1130330
Page Count: 5
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Abilities and Neural Mechanisms Underlying AB̄ Performance
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Abstract

Schacter, Moscovitch, Tulving, McLachlan, and Freedman propose that infants may make the AB̄ error because of immaturity of the memory system damaged in amnesia (e. g., the hippocampus). They contrast this with the proposal that infants may make the AB̄ error because of immaturity of the frontal lobe system (Diamond; Diamond & Goldman-Rakic). Schacter et al.'s choice of subjects, however, did not permit a test of these 2 proposals, and characteristics of their task, such as length of delay, make comparison with infants difficult. Schacter et al. discuss sensitivity to proactive interference as a possible explanation for the AB̄ error, but sensitivity to PI is more closely associated with frontal lobe damage than with amnesia. Schacter et al. associate perseveration with immaturity or damage to the frontal lobe; it is suggested here that this is better characterized as lack of inhibitory control. Tasks that are most likely to require frontal cortex function are those that demand both short-term memory and inhibitory control. AB̄ is an excellent example of such a task.

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