Poster B84, Sunday, March 26, 8:00 – 10:00 am, Pacific Concourse
Value-Based Remembering and Executive Functioning in Aging
Barbara J. Knowlton1, Joseph P. Hennessee1, Alan D. Castel1; 1UCLA
For both younger and older adults, memory for items deemed valuable is better than memory for items considered less valuable. In the present study, we examined whether this value enhancement of memory was associated with executive function abilities as assessed by performance on the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST). Older (n=30) and younger (n=30) adult participants were cued to imagine being in different states of need ion each trial (e.g., hunger) and in different locations, then viewed objects that were congruent or incongruent with their state of need (e.g. hamburger or water bottle). Participants judged whether the presented object was congruent with the imagined state of need and also rated their own subjective value of the item. A surprise yes/no recognition test for items and locations was given after a 5 min delay. While recognition performance was significantly lower in older adults, both groups showed a significant benefit for items rated as congruent with imagined need and higher subjective value. While perseverative errors on the WCST were significantly correlated with overall recognition memory in older adults, there was no relationship between perseverative errors and the memory enhancing effects of either measure of value. These findings suggest that value may enhance memory in a relatively automatic fashion that is not dependent on executive abilities.
Topic Area: LONG-TERM MEMORY: Development & aging