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Previous research in adults has showed that physical performance (i.e., enactment) of instructions at recall leads to better memory compared to verbal recall and that this effect does not rely solely on Working Memory resources. The current study aimed to replicate this finding in children. A group of 32 children encoded simple instructions verbally while engaging in a series of distractor tasks (articulatory suppression, backwards counting and a motor suppression task). Participants recalled information verbally or physically through enactment. The findings showed that although distractors impaired performance compared to a control condition (no distractor task), the enactment advantage remained intact in all conditions. These findings show that children's memory is superior when they perform, rather than when they verbally repeat instructions and crucially it is suggested that this effect does not rely solely on Working Memory resources.

Original publication




Journal article


Br J Dev Psychol

Publication Date



action advantage, action memory, enactment recall, executive function, instruction following, working memory