Items studied as pictures are better remembered than items studied as words even when test items are presented as words. The present study examined the development of this picture superiority effect in recognition memory. Four groups ranging in age from 7 to 20 years participated. They studied words and pictures, with test stimuli always presented as words, and time to respond to test stimuli was manipulated. The picture superiority effect showed a clear developmental trend. In the condition in which participants had ample response time, a significant picture superiority effect appeared in all but the youngest group. With short response time, a significant picture superiority effect appeared only among 11- and 20-year-old groups, while a significant reverse of the picture superiority effect was detected in the youngest group. These results were interpreted as suggesting that different memory processes (familiarity and recollection) contribute differently to the picture superiority effect at different stages of development.