Memory Development

We are interested in memory development and the impact of different information processing and behavioural factors on what children can recall. In one project, we are examining how the use of gesture and talk during a learning experience may impact what children can remember. In another line of work, we are investigating autobiographical memory and narrative ability in children with developmental disorders. To conduct this research, we examine recall and reporting of personally experienced events in children with intellectual disabilities, and children with ADHD, compared to typically developing children.

The MARCIE projectThe MARCIE Project

Memory: Age-Related Changes in Errors.

The MARCIE project is a series of studies, supported by a Marsden Fund Grant, examining the finding that false memories can be more common in older children and adults than they are in younger children. Our research is investigating whether developmental patterns of false memories demonstrated in lab based tasks (e.g., recall of word lists or pictures) occur in the same way when children recall personally experienced events.

Forensic Interviews with Children

Our research examines safe techniques for conducting forensic interviews with children when they have been witness to, or victims of, an alleged crime. We are investigating such issues as whether using aids such as body diagrams, photos, drawings, sketch plans, or mental context reinstatement in an interview may help to facilitate children’s recall. We are also interested in the abilities of different groups of children (e.g., those with developmental delays or disorders) to remember and talk about what they know. Additionally, we are conducting research that aims to enhance the effectiveness of evidence-based interviewer strategies and to develop processes that can help interviewers engage in self-supervision and evaluation.

Communicating with Parents About Children’s Weight

We are involved in clinical research projects that investigate topics like communicating with parents about issues that affect their children. For example, with the MInT (motivational interviewing in treatment) Project, we are exploring ways of giving feedback to parents of overweight children and evaluating a family-based intervention to promote healthy weight development in overweight children.