Poster D113, Monday, March 26, 8:00-10:00 am, Exhibit Hall C
Neural networks of specific and general autobiographical memory retrieval in younger and older adults
Aleea Devitt1, Reece Roberts2, Abby Metson2, Lynette Tippett2, Donna Rose Addis2; 1Harvard University, 2The University of Auckland
Healthy aging is associated with difficulty retrieving specific/episodic autobiographical memories (AMs), while retrieval of general/routine AMs – which tend to be reliant on semantic memory – is relatively preserved. While age-related declines in episodic memory are reflected in reduced activation of the default network when retrieving specific AMs, little is known about the effects of age on neural activation during general AM retrieval. The current fMRI study used Partial Least Squares to explore age-related changes in whole-brain networks during specific and general AM retrieval. We found that compared to a semantic control task, both younger and older adults engaged the default network during specific AM retrieval, but this pattern of activity was less pronounced with age. Younger adults engaged a subset of default regions during general retrieval, while older adults recruited a similar network for both specific and general retrieval. Lastly, younger adults activated additional non-default areas for the more demanding specific AM task, including regions of the dorsal and ventral attention networks. These regions were not utilized by older adults for specific retrieval, even though they did recruit these regions in the control task. These results provide further evidence of dedifferentiation of specific and general AM retrieval with age.
Topic Area: LONG-TERM MEMORY: Development & aging