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Age-related changes in neural activity associated with familiarity, recollection and false recognition

Duarte, Audrey, Graham, Kim Samantha ORCID: and Henson, Richard N. 2010. Age-related changes in neural activity associated with familiarity, recollection and false recognition. Neurobiology of Aging 31 (10) , pp. 1814-1830. 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2008.09.014

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Older adults often exhibit elevated false recognition for events that never occurred, while simultaneously experiencing difficulty in recognizing events that actually occurred. It has been proposed that reduced recollection in conjunction with an over-reliance on familiarity may contribute to this pattern of results. This explanation is somewhat inconsistent, however, with recent evidence suggesting that familiarity and associated neural activity are reduced in healthy aging. Alternatively, given that illusory memory may be based, in part, on veridical memory processes (recollection/familiarity), one might predict that older adults exhibit enhanced false alarm rates because the neural signatures associated with true recognition (hits) and false recognition (false alarms) are less distinguishable in old than in young adults. Here, we used event-related fMRI to measure the effects of aging on neural activity associated with recollection, familiarity and familiarity-based false alarms for objects in young and older adults. Compared to young adults, older adults exhibited elevated false alarm rates and impaired behavioral indices of recollection and familiarity. Imaging data showed that older adults exhibited reduced recollection effects in the left parietoccipital cortex. Furthermore, while similar regions in frontal, parietal, lateral and inferior temporal cortices contributed to familiarity-based true and false recognition, reduced familiarity-related activity in frontal and inferior temporal regions in the older adults resulted in decreased differentiation between true and false recognition effects in this group. Our results suggest that reductions in neural activity associated with both recollection and familiarity for studied items may contribute to elevated false recognition in older adults, via reduced differentiation between the neural activity associated with true and false memory.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Psychology
Systems Immunity Research Institute (SIURI)
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Uncontrolled Keywords: Aging ; False memory ; Recollection ; Familiarity ; fMRI
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0197-4580
Last Modified: 18 Oct 2022 12:53

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