Researchers have taken a number of different approaches in their exploration of hippocampal function. One approach seeks to describe hippocampal function by probing the memory representations that the hippocampus supports. Another approach focuses on the role of the hippocampus in pattern separation and completion. Each of these approaches to understanding hippocampal function utilizes a distinct set of specialized tasks, and both of these task sets are known to be sensitive to changes in hippocampal function with age and disease status. But the question remains whether the tasks utilized in these two approaches tap into the same aspects of hippocampal function. We explored this question in the context of hippocampal development. Preadolescent children (N = 73) and young adults (N = 41) completed an identical battery of cognitive tasks consisting of a spatial reconstruction relational memory task, the mnemonic similarity task (MST)—an object-based pattern separation task, and a novel hybrid task—the Object Discrimination and Distribution (ODD) Task—designed to integrate and simultaneously tax pattern separation and spatial relational memory. Children did not demonstrate impairments in lure discrimination relative to young adults on either the object-based pattern separation task or for aspects of the ODD task that required pattern separation in the absence of relational memory demands but performed more poorly across aspects of tasks that required relational binding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)210-219
Number of pages10
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2020


  • development
  • hippocampus
  • lure discrimination
  • pattern separation
  • relational memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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