City Research Online

Trichotomous Processes in Early Memory Development, Aging, and Neurocognitive Impairment: A Unified Theory

Brainerd, C. J., Reyna, V. F. & Howe, M. L. (2009). Trichotomous Processes in Early Memory Development, Aging, and Neurocognitive Impairment: A Unified Theory. Psychological Review, 116(4), pp. 783-832. doi: 10.1037/a0016963


One of the most extensively investigated topics in the adult memory literature, dual memory processes, has had virtually no impact on the study of early memory development. We remove the key obstacles to such research by formulating a trichotomous theory of recall that combines the traditional dual processes of recollection and familiarity with a reconstruction process. The theory is then embedded in a hidden Markov model that measures all three processes with low-burden tasks that are appropriate for even young children. These techniques are applied to a large corpus of developmental studies of recall, yielding stable findings about the emergence of dual memory processes between childhood and young adulthood and generating tests of many theoretical predictions. The techniques are extended to the study of healthy aging and to the memory sequelae of common forms of cognitive impairment, resulting in a theoretical framework that is unified over four major domains of memory research: early development, mainstream adult research, aging, and cognitive impairment. The techniques are also extended to recognition, creating a unified dual-process framework for recall and recognition.

Publication Type: Article
Additional Information: This article may not exactly replicate the final version published in the APA journal. It is not the copy of record.
Publisher Keywords: memory development, dual memory processes, aging, cognitive impairment, hidden Markov models
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
Related URLs:
SWORD Depositor:
[thumbnail of brainerd-reyna-howe Revision 3 May-8-09.pdf]
PDF - Accepted Version
Download (573kB) | Preview


Add to AnyAdd to TwitterAdd to FacebookAdd to LinkedinAdd to PinterestAdd to Email


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics

Actions (login required)

Admin Login Admin Login