Poster F67, Tuesday, March 27, 8:00-10:00 am, Exhibit Hall C
Improving Episodic Autobiographical Memory in Older Adults with a Novel Digital Memory Augmentation Device
Bryan Hong1, Chris B Martin1, Andrew Xia1, Chris J Honey1,2, Morgan D Barense1,3; 1University of Toronto, 2Johns Hopkins University, 3Rotman Research Institute
The episodic and semantic subcomponents of autobiographical memory (AM) are differentially affected during aging, with episodic AM details being more vulnerable to degradation than non-episodic AM details. Additionally, this dissociation in AM is exacerbated in individuals who have memory disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease or its precursor, mild cognitive impairment. A promising approach to minimize the effects of episodic AM loss in aging is digital memory augmentation (DMA), whereby a device records information in one's day-to-day life for later review. Despite producing benefits to memory recall, current DMA protocols do not incorporate findings from the cognitive neuroscience literature which have been shown to improve memory. We developed a novel DMA device which takes into account the neurobiology underlying AM and various, well-established principles from cognitive neuroscience outlining how we optimally learn and remember events. Participants used this device to record events and review them back in a speeded and distributed manner throughout the day. Using a cued recall task, we found that this review process specifically improves recall of episodic AM details without affecting recall of non-episodic AM details in older adults, demonstrating that usage of our DMA device selectively restores the deficit in episodic AM with aging. The results of the current study pave the way for an inexpensive, efficient, and scientifically-tested intervention to help improve the quality of life of those affected by memory loss.
Topic Area: LONG-TERM MEMORY: Episodic