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Module 12. Chapter 12. Cognitive Development in Middle Childhood.

Terms in this set (52)

Brain development contributes to gains in information-processing speed and capacity during the school years. Gains in inhibition also occur, supporting information processing by preserving space in working memory for the task at hand.

During middle childhood, attention becomes more selective and adaptable. Attention (and memory) strategies develop in a four-step sequence: (1) production deficiency (failure to use the strategy); (2) control deficiency (failure to execute the strategy consistently); (3) utilization deficiency (consistent use of the strategy, but without improvement in performance); and finally
(4) effective strategy use.


School-age children also become better at planning. On tasks requiring systematic visual search or the coordination of many acts, they are more likely to decide in advance how to proceed.

Deficits in executive processing and inhibition may underlie the serious attentional and impulse-control difficulties of children with attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). ADHD leads to serious academic and social problems.

Memory strategies improve during the school years. Rehearsal appears first, followed by organization and then elaboration. With age, children use several memory strategies at once.

Development of the long-term knowledge base facilitates strategic memory processing. Children's motivation to use what they know also contributes to memory development. Memory strategies are promoted by learning activities in school and are not used by children in non-Western cultures who have no formal schooling.