Testing the Dynamic Field Theory: Working Memory for Locations Becomes More Spatially Precise over Development

Anne R. Schutte, John P. Spencer, Gregor Schöner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

134 Scopus citations


The dynamic field theory predicts that biases toward remembered locations depend on the separation between targets, and the spatial precision of interactions in working memory that become enhanced over development. This was tested by varying the separation between A and B locations in a sandbox. Children searched for an object 6 times at an A location, followed by 3 trials at a B location. Two- and 4-year-olds', but not 6-year-olds', responses were biased toward A when A and B were 9-in. and 6-in. apart. When A and B were separated by 2 in., however, 4- and 6-year-olds' responses were biased toward A. Thus, the separation at which responses were biased toward A decreased across age groups, supporting the predictions of the theory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1393-1417
Number of pages25
JournalChild development
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jan 1 2003


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pediatrics, Perinatology, and Child Health
  • Education
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology

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