Schedule of Events | Search Abstracts | Symposia | Invited Symposia | Poster Sessions | Data Blitz Sessions

Poster C27

Age differences in the mechanisms underlying remembering events vividly and confidently

Poster Session C - Sunday, April 14, 2024, 5:00 – 7:00 pm EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

Kasia M Mojescik1 (, Sam C Berens1, Flavia De Luca1, Maureen Ritchey2, Chris M Bird1; 1University of Sussex, 2Boston College

The way humans remember events changes across the lifespan. Older adults often rate the vividness of their memories as being greater or equal to younger adults, despite poorer performance on episodic memory tasks. This study explored how the content (place, person and object) and specificity (conceptual gist versus perceptual detail) of event memories relate to the subjective experience of memory vividness and memory confidence, and how this relationship is affected by healthy ageing. 100 healthy older adults and 100 young adults were tested online, using an adapted version of a paradigm developed by Cooper and Ritchey (2022). At encoding, participants generated a distinctive story to associate together (1) a theme word, and images of (2) a famous person, (3) a place, and (4) an object, to generate unique events. Memory test consisted of identification of the event components using word labels (indexing conceptual gist), and perceptual lure discrimination (indexing perceptual details). Replicating Cooper and Ritchey (2022), we found that young adults base their memory vividness judgements on their ability to remember the conceptual gist of the events more so than the perceptual details. Older adults followed a similar pattern, despite performing less well on the task. In young adults only, memory vividness was significantly correlated with perceptual detail for place, whereas memory confidence was significantly correlated with perceptual detail for place and object. The results suggest that while episodic memory declines with age, older adults use similar information to young adults to judge how confidently and vividly they remember.

Topic Area: LONG-TERM MEMORY: Episodic


CNS Account Login


April 13–16  |  2024