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Psychology and Aging

Christopher A Kurby, Jeffrey M Zacks
An important feature of action understanding is that comprehenders segment the perceptual stream into events. Event segmentation dynamically engages a network of brain regions that likely play a role in how events are encoded. Here, in a sample of older adults, we assessed the relationship between changes in brain dynamics during movie watching and event understanding performance. Forty healthy older adults and a comparison sample of 12 younger adults passively viewed short movies of everyday activities while their brain activity was measured with fMRI...
February 15, 2018: Psychology and Aging
Wändi Bruine de Bruin, Marijke van Putten, Robin van Emden, JoNell Strough
People of all ages face events that threaten their well-being, but theories of aging posit that older adults will cope better. In a gamble with randomly assigned losses (vs. gains), older adults reported relatively less negative and more positive emotions than younger adults, especially after losses (vs. gains). Avoiding preoccupation with negative thoughts was more likely among older (vs. younger) adults and was related to less negative emotions after losses (vs. gains). A focus on limited time was associated with more positive emotions across all participants...
February 15, 2018: Psychology and Aging
Anne Böger, Oliver Huxhold
Research shows that people maintain fewer social ties and social activities when they grow older. There appears, however, to be little variation in the average loneliness level from middle adulthood into old age. In this study we investigate to what extent beneficial changes in emotional qualities of the social network (SNW; number of distressing relationships, number of pleasant relationships, relationship satisfaction) may help to prevent an age-related increase in loneliness. We concentrate in particular on the question as to whether these emotional qualities become more relevant for predicting loneliness when people grow older...
February 15, 2018: Psychology and Aging
Erika P Sparrow, Julia Spaniol
In addition to making decisions about gains and losses that affect only ourselves, we often make decisions that affect others. Research on life span changes in motivation suggests that altruistic motives become stronger with age, but no prior research has examined how altruism affects tolerance for temporal delays. Experiment 1 used a realistic financial decision making task involving choices for gains, losses, and donations. Each decision required an intertemporal choice between a smaller-immediate and a larger-later option...
February 15, 2018: Psychology and Aging
Ari J Elliot, Christopher J Mooney, Frank J Infurna, Benjamin P Chapman
Mechanisms underlying prospective associations of perceived control with frailty and other health outcomes are not well understood. In the present study we used 3 waves of data from the Health and Retirement Study (N = 2,127) to test potential psychological and biological pathways linking perceived control with frailty over an 8-year period, and whether 4-year change in control predicts frailty independent of initial control. Lower odds of increasing frailty were associated with higher initial levels of perceived control (odds ratio [OR] = ...
February 15, 2018: Psychology and Aging
Giulia Bechi Gabrielli, Pietro Spataro, Lina Pezzuti, Clelia Rossi-Arnaud
In the Attentional Boost Effect (ABE), images or words presented with to-be-responded target squares are later recognized more accurately than images or words presented with to-be-ignored distractor squares. Surprisingly, previous studies investigating the ABE have always examined young participants: thus, the question of whether this memory facilitation can be also observed in older adults has never been tested. The present study sought to fill this gap by examining whether healthy aging modulated the size of the ABE in 4 experiments in which the nature of the background stimuli (images vs...
February 15, 2018: Psychology and Aging
Joseph D W Stephens, Amy A Overman
In this article, we apply the REM model (Shiffrin & Steyvers, 1997) to age differences in associative memory. Using Criss and Shiffrin's (2005) associative version of REM, we show that in a task with pairs repeated across 2 study lists, older adults' reduced benefit of pair repetition can be produced by a general reduction in the diagnosticity of information stored in memory. This reduction can be modeled similarly well by reducing the overall distinctiveness of memory features, or by reducing the accuracy of memory encoding...
February 2018: Psychology and Aging
Karen L Campbell, Lynn Hasher
We have previously shown that older adults hyper-bind, or form more extraneous associations than younger adults. For instance, when asked to perform a 1-back task on pictures superimposed with distracting words, older adults inadvertently form associations between target-distractor pairs and implicitly transfer these associations to a later paired associate learning task (showing a boost in relearning of preserved over disrupted pairs). We have argued that younger adults are better at suppressing the distracting words and thus, do not form these extraneous associations in the first place...
February 2018: Psychology and Aging
John M McCormick-Huhn, Hui Chen, Bradley P Wyble, Nancy A Dennis
Previous work has shown mixed evidence regarding age-related deficits for binding in working memory. The current study used the newly developed attribute amnesia effect (H. Chen & Wyble, 2015a) to test the associative-deficit hypothesis during working memory and to probe whether hyper-binding extends to include binding of de-selected information. In studies of attribute amnesia, participants use target attributes (e.g., identity, color) to demonstrate near ceiling levels of reporting of a second target attribute (e...
February 2018: Psychology and Aging
Renée K Biss, Gillian Rowe, Jennifer C Weeks, Lynn Hasher, Kelly J Murphy
Forgetting people's names is a common memory complaint among older adults and one that is consistent with experimental evidence of age-related decline in memory for face-name associations. Despite this difficulty intentionally forming face-name associations, a recent study demonstrated that older adults hyperbind distracting names and attended faces, which produces better learning of these face-name pairs when they reappear on a memory test (Weeks, Biss, Murphy, & Hasher, 2016). The current study explored whether this effect could be leveraged as an intervention to reduce older adults' forgetting of face-name associations, using a method previously shown to improve older adults' retention of a word list (Biss, Ngo, Hasher, Campbell, & Rowe, 2013)...
February 2018: Psychology and Aging
Rachel Clark, Eliot Hazeltine, Michael Freedberg, Michelle W Voss
Compared with young adults, older adults demonstrate difficulty forming and retrieving episodic memories. One proposed mechanism is that older adults are impaired at binding information into nonoverlapping representations, which is a key function of the hippocampus. The current experiments evaluate age differences in acquiring new memories using a novel episodic associative learning (EAL) task designed to tap hippocampal-dependent binding. The task involved repeated exposure of stimuli pairs and required the formation of new representations of each stimulus pair, as each pair was mapped to a unique keypress response...
February 2018: Psychology and Aging
Alexis C Carpenter, Daniel L Schacter
Episodic memory involves flexible retrieval processes that allow a person to link elements of distinct episodes in order to make novel inferences across events. In younger adults, we recently found that the same retrieval-related recombination mechanism that supports successful associative inference produces source misattributions as a consequence of erroneous binding of contextual elements from distinct episodes. In the current experiment, we found that older adults, in contrast to younger adults, did not show an increase in source misattributions following successful associative inference...
February 2018: Psychology and Aging
Yana Fandakova, Myriam C Sander, Thomas H Grandy, Roberto Cabeza, Markus Werkle-Bergner, Yee Lee Shing
Older adults are more likely than younger adults to falsely recall past episodes that occurred differently or not at all. We examined whether older adults' propensity for false associative memory is related to declines in postretrieval monitoring processes and their modulation with varying memory representations. Younger (N = 20) and older adults (N = 32) studied and relearned unrelated scene-word pairs, followed by a final cued recall that was used to distribute the pairs for an associative recognition test 24 hours later...
February 2018: Psychology and Aging
Marci M Horn, Kristen M Kennedy, Karen M Rodrigue
Decline in associative memory abilities is a common cognitive complaint among older adults and is detectable in both normal aging and in prodromal Alzheimer's disease (AD). Subjective memory (SM) complaints may serve as an earlier marker of these mnemonic changes; however, previous research examining the predictive utility of SM to observed memory performance yielded inconsistent results. This inconsistency is likely due to other sources of variance that occur with memory decline such as mood/depression issues, presence of apolipoprotein E (APOE ε4) genotype, or beta-amyloid deposition...
February 2018: Psychology and Aging
Nicole D Anderson, Patricia L Ebert, Cheryl L Grady, Janine M Jennings
The objectives of this study were to replicate age-related decrements in recollection and source memory, and to determine if repetition lag training improves recollection and whether these effects maintain and transfer to other tasks. Sixteen young adults and 46 healthy older adults participated, the latter of whom comprised hi-old (n = 16) and lo-old (n = 30) based on neuropsychological memory tests. All participants completed memory tests and questionnaires at baseline, and then half of the lo-old underwent nine days of repetition lag training while the other half engaged in a 9-day active control program...
February 2018: Psychology and Aging
Amy A Overman, John M McCormick-Huhn, Nancy A Dennis, Joanna M Salerno, Alexandra P Giglio
Relative to young adults, older adults typically exhibit a reduced ability to accurately remember associations between stimuli. Prior research has assumed that this age-related memory impairment affects different types of associations similarly. However, research in young adults has suggested that item-item and item-context associations are supported by different underlying neural mechanisms that could be unequally affected by aging. This experiment compared memory across association types in younger and older adults by presenting the same types of stimuli as either item-item or item-context pairs...
February 2018: Psychology and Aging
Tarek Amer, Kelly S Giovanello, Cheryl L Grady, Lynn Hasher
Older adults typically show poor associative memory performance relative to younger adults. This age-related effect, however, is mediated by the meaningfulness of the materials used, such that age differences are minimized with the use of information that is consistent with prior knowledge. While this effect has been interpreted as facilitative learning through schematic support, the role of memory retrieval on this effect has yet to be explored. Using an associative memory paradigm that varied the extent of controlled retrieval for previously studied meaningful or arbitrary associations, older and younger adults in the present study retrieved realistic and unrealistic grocery item prices in a speeded, or in a slow, more control-based retrieval condition...
February 2018: Psychology and Aging
Hope C Fine, Yee Lee Shing, Moshe Naveh-Benjamin
Older adults seem to have a special difficulty binding components of their episodic memories to each other and retrieving these bound units. This phenomenon, known as the age-related associative memory deficit, is partially driven by high false alarm rates in the associative test. The current research examines whether 2 factors: (a) manipulations of changes of schematic support between study and test (potentially affecting recollection) and (b) item repetition (potentially affecting item familiarity) might decrease older adults' false alarm rate, thereby resulting in a smaller associative memory deficit...
February 2018: Psychology and Aging
Joseph P Hennessee, Barbara J Knowlton, Alan D Castel
Valuable items are often remembered better than items that are less valuable by both older and younger adults, but older adults typically show deficits in binding. Here, we examine whether value affects the quality of recognition memory and the binding of incidental details to valuable items. In Experiment 1, participants learned English words each associated with a point-value they earned for correct recognition with the goal of maximizing their score. In Experiment 2, value was manipulated by presenting items that were either congruent or incongruent with an imagined state of physiological need (e...
February 2018: Psychology and Aging
Alexander L M Siegel, Alan D Castel
Older adults typically experience memory impairments for verbal and visuospatial episodic information, which are most pronounced for associative information. Although some age-related verbal memory deficits may be reduced by selectively focusing on high-value item information, the binding of items to locations in visuospatial memory involves different processes that are impaired in older adults. In the current study, we examined whether age-related impairment in visuospatial binding could be alleviated by strategic focus on important information and whether varying study time and presentation formats would affect such selectivity...
February 2018: Psychology and Aging
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