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Patricia Bauer, Professor

Patricia Bauer

Research Summary:
My research interests are in cognitive development in the transitions from infancy to early childhood and from the preschool to the early school years. I am particularly interested in developments in episodic and autobiographical or personal memory. By late in the first to early in the second year of life, infants accurately recall specific events over delays of weeks and even months. Many factors that affect memory in older children and adults also influence infants' memories. These findings demonstrate continuity in recall processes across a wide developmental span. Yet there also are pronounced developmental changes in memory over the first years of life. By combining behavioral and electrophysiological (ERP) measures my colleagues and I are working to understand how the functional changes we observe relate to developments in the basic processes of encoding, consolidation, storage, and retrieval of information from memory; and to neuro-developmental changes that take place in the same period of time. In recent work, I have extended investigations of memory development to theoretically interesting special populations, including infants born prematurely, internationally adopted infants, and maltreated infants. I am also working to understand the neural, cognitive, and social contributions to the phenomenon of childhood amnesia-the relative paucity among adults of verbally accessible memories of the first years of life. Given that even infants remember the past, why do adults have so few early memories? To inform this question, my colleagues and I are conducting prospective studies to track the "fates" of early memories as preschoolers make the transition to the school years and beyond. In the process, we are identifying the determinants of remembering and forgetting as well as informing the individual, familial, and cultural influences that shape autobiographies from childhood through adulthood.

Representative Publications:   (More Publications)   (search)

  1. P. Bauer (2005). Developments in declarative memory: Decreasing susceptibility to storage failure over the second year of life. Psychological Science, 16, 41-47.
  2. P. Bauer, S. Wiebe, L. Carver, A. Lukowski, J. Waters, & C. Nelson (2005). Electrophysiological indices of encoding and behavioral indices of recall: Examining relations and developmental change late in the first year of life. Developmental Neuropsychology, in press.
  3. T. DeBoer, S. Wewerka, P. Bauer, M. Georgieff, & C. Nelson (2005). Explicit memory performance in infants of diabetic mothers at 1 year of age. Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, in press.
  4. D. Van Abbema & P. Bauer (2005). Autobiographical memory in middle childhood: Recollections of the recent and distant past. Memory, in press.
  5. P. Bauer (2004). Getting explicit memory off the ground: Steps toward construction of a neuro-developmental account of changes in the first two years of life. Developmental Review, 24, 347-373.

Lab Personnel: 
Lab manager: Lindsay Lewis, Lab technician: Alisha Holland, Lab technician: Kate Jones, Research Associate: Sherry Didow, Graduate Student: Angela Lukowski, Graduate Student: Katie Mosher, Graduate Student: Jeni Pathman,


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