Age effects on associative memory for novel picture pairings

Emma K. Bridger, Anna Lena Kursawe, Regine Bader, Roni Tibon, Nurit Gronau, Daniel A. Levy, Axel Mecklinger

פרסום מחקרי: פרסום בכתב עתמאמרביקורת עמיתים


Normal aging is usually accompanied by greater memory decline for associations than for single items. Though associative memory is generally supported by recollection, it has been suggested that familiarity can also contribute to associative memory when stimuli can be unitized and encoded as a single entity. Given that familiarity remains intact during healthy aging, this may be one route to reducing age-related associative deficits. The current study investigated age-related differences in associative memory under conditions that were expected to differentially promote unitization, in this case by manipulating the spatial arrangement of two semantically unrelated objects positioned relative to each other in either spatially implausible or plausible orientations. Event-related potential (ERP) correlates of item and associative memory were recorded whilst younger and older adults were required to discriminate between old, recombined and new pairs of objects. These ERP correlates of item and associative memory did not vary with plausibility, whereas behavioral measures revealed that both associative and item memory were greater for spatially plausible than implausible pair arrangements. Contrary to predictions, older adults were less able to take advantage of this memory benefit than younger participants. Potential reasons for this are considered, and these are informed by those lines of evidence which indicate older participants were less sensitive to the bottom-up spatial manipulation employed here. It is recommended that future strategies for redressing age-related associative deficits should take account of the aging brain's increasing reliance on pre-existing semantic associations.

שפה מקוריתאנגלית
עמודים (מ-עד)102-115
מספר עמודים14
כתב עתBrain Research
מזהי עצם דיגיטלי (DOIs)
סטטוס פרסוםפורסם - 1 יוני 2017

הערה ביבליוגרפית

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017 The Authors

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