Modifying memory for a museum tour in older adults: reactivation-related updating that enhances and distorts memory is reduced in aging

St Jacques, Peggy L, Montgomery, Daniel and Schacter, Daniel L (2014) Modifying memory for a museum tour in older adults: reactivation-related updating that enhances and distorts memory is reduced in aging. Memory, 23 (6). pp. 876-887. ISSN 0965-8211

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Abstract

Memory reactivation, the activation of a latent memory trace when we are reminded of a past experience, strengthens memory but can also contribute to distortions if new information present during reactivation is integrated with existing memory. In a previous study in young adults (St. Jacques & Schacter, 2013; Psychological Science) we found that the quality of memory reactivation, manipulated using the principle of encoding specificity and indexed by recollection ratings, modulated subsequent true and false memories for events experienced during a museum tour. Here, we examined age-related changes in the quality of memory reactivation on subsequent memory. Young and older adults reactivated memories for museum stops immediately followed by the presentation of a novel lure photo from an alternate tour version (i.e., reactivation plus new information). There was an increase in subsequent true memories for reactivated targets and for subsequent false memories for lures that followed reactivated targets, when compared to baseline target and lure photos. However, the influence of reactivation on subsequent memories was reduced in older adults. These data reveal that aging alters reactivation-related updating processes that allow memories to be strengthened and updated with new information- consequently reducing memory distortions in older compared to young adults.

Item Type: Article
Schools and Departments: School of Psychology > Psychology
Depositing User: Ellena Adams
Date Deposited: 22 Feb 2017 13:22
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2017 16:03
URI: http://sro.sussex.ac.uk/id/eprint/66858

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