Poster B28, Sunday, March 26, 8:00 – 10:00 am, Pacific Concourse
Age Differences in the Neural Correlates of Selective Memory for Emotion: An Event-Related Potential Study
Sara Gallant1, Carson Pun1, Lixia Yang1; 1Ryerson University
Prior research has shown that young and older adults are similarly able to successfully remember and intentionally forget information that varies in emotional tone (Gallant & Yang, 2014). The goal of the present study was to elucidate the neural mechanisms underlying these behavioural effects. Using an item directed forgetting (DF) task, young and older adults encoded positive, negative, and neutral words that were cued as either to-be-remembered (TBR) or to-be-forgotten (TBF), while brain activity was recorded using electroencephalography. Behavioural effects replicated our prior findings with equivalent DF of emotional words across young and older adults. In the brain, age differences emerged across both word- and cue-related activity. Specifically, older adults showed an enhanced late positive potential (LPP) to positive words relative to young adults, suggesting these words may have received greater allocation of attention. In response to cues, young adults showed the expected pattern of enhanced frontal positivity for TBF relative to TBR cues; however, older adults showed a similar pattern of frontal activation for both TBR and TBF cues. These results suggest that, despite age-related similarities in behavioural performance, the neural mechanisms at work during intentional forgetting of emotion differ across young and older adults.
Topic Area: EMOTION & SOCIAL: Emotion-cognition interactions