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Poster B120

Effects of Emotion and Age on Subjective and Objective Memory Measures

Poster Session B - Sunday, April 14, 2024, 8:00 – 10:00 am EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

Ms Jourdan Parent1 (, Isaac Zygmuntowicz1, Katherine O’Malley1, Elizabeth Kensinger2, Maureen Ritchey2, Anne Berry1; 1Brandeis University, 2Boston College

We examined how older age and emotional valence affect relationships between subjective ratings of memory vividness and objective measures of remembered visual salience. Participants (n = 37 older adults; n = 34 young adults) studied emotionally negative and neutral images that varied in color saturation and luminance, and reconstructed the visual salience of the images in a subsequent memory test (Cooper et al., 2019). We calculated salience bias (mean salience error) and precision (SD of salience error), which we compared with participants’ subjective ratings of memory vividness for each image. We found correlations between subjective memory vividness and objective measures of remembered visual salience were reduced in older adults (main effects of age: F(1,69)=5.9-7.4, p=.008-.02). Older adults reported higher subjective memory vividness than young adults (F(1,69)=16.9, p=.0001) but lower measured memory precision (F(1,69)=10.9, p=.002). We found age-by-emotion interactions consistent with accounts that memory benefits for negative emotional stimuli are reduced in older adults. We found enhanced subjective memory vividness and objective memory precision for negative images in young, but not older adults (age*emotion: F(1,69)=7.9-8.10, p=.006-.008). Significant age effects and interactions were limited to precision measures and were not observed for salience bias. Notably, this study represents an independent replication of the previously-described “memory-fading effect” whereby images were recollected as less visually salient than they were encoded for both groups (negative salience bias). Together these findings suggest dissociations in which qualities of memory are altered across the lifespan, with consistent age-group differences and effects of emotion on precision and vividness measures.

Topic Area: LONG-TERM MEMORY: Development & aging


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