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Access Type

WSU Access

Date of Award

January 2016

Degree Type

Thesis

Degree Name

M.S.

Department

Psychology

First Advisor

Noa Ofen

Abstract

The hippocampus is essential for episodic memory. Preterm birth is associated both with deficits in episodic memory and with alteration on hippocampal structure; however, the effect of term status on the relation between episodic memory and hippocampal volume (HCV) is unclear. We studied the potential of a latent construct of episodic memory as well as the relation between episodic memory and HCV in full-term and preterm born children (ages 5-6). The individual episodic memory measures separated into different components based on the level of association and decision that was required for the tasks. The composite scores were not significantly correlated with the volume of the hippocampus but performance on an individual task displayed a trending relationship with hippocampal volume. Additionally, there were brain-behavior relationships for the full-term born participants that were not present for the preterm born participants. The relationship between hippocampal volume and episodic memory performance may be task dependent and may be different in preterm born children compared to full-term born children. Additionally, it is possible that the tasks that are used to assess episodic memory performance in adults are not adequate for measuring episodic memory in young children.

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