The aim of the research was to explore the function of pauses in children's oral verbatim and gist-based free recall, assuming that pauses indicate cognitive processing. The main question guiding this research was whether verbatim and gist recall constituted two different ways of cognitive processing associated with different time patterns of speech. Elementary school children (n = 180) between the ages of 8 and 10 years heard a story and were then instructed to either retell the story verbatim or retell its gist. They orally recalled the story for the first time immediately after hearing the story and again 1 week later. The results confirmed the main hypothesis of independence of verbatim and gist traces in that mean pause lengths were longer when verbatim retrieval was asked for as compared to gist retrieval. High correct gist recall was characterized by more and shorter pauses, indicating fluent retrieval. © 2008 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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