Poster A77, Saturday, March 25, 5:00 – 7:00 pm, Pacific Concourse
Neural correlates of preparation during context memory encoding in young and older adults
Jonathan Strunk1, Audrey Duarte1; 1Georgia Institute of Technology
Previous research suggests that older adults have deficits in the utilization of goal relevant information and are less likely to use preparatory strategies, compared to the young. In younger adults, preparatory processes during encoding have been found to reflect subsequent memory performance. Previous studies investigating preparatory activity in memory have not assessed the impact of the informative value of the cue. The current fMRI study investigates the effects of aging on informative vs neutral cuing during context memory encoding and related neural activity. During encoding, participants assessed the likelihood of objects paired with one of two context images (face or scene). Preceding each stimulus was an informative cue (indicating the to-be-presented context), or a neutral cue (no context information). Item and context memory performance did not differ between informative and neutral trials for either young or older adults and memory performance was matched across age groups. Informative cues elicited greater activity than neutral cues in temporal and frontal regions for the young adults only, and in occipital regions sensitive to face and scene categories for both age groups. In both young and older adults, activity within the occipital regions overlapped with subsequent context memory accuracy. Although cue type did not modulate performance, these results suggest that both young and older adults utilized the informative cues differently than the neutral cues, and engaged cue-related regions in support of context memory performance.
Topic Area: LONG-TERM MEMORY: Episodic