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Poster D46

Consistency of Autobiographical Memory Retrieval in Older Adults At Risk of Cognitive Decline

Poster Session D - Monday, April 15, 2024, 8:00 – 10:00 am EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

Audrey Li-Chay-Chung1,2 (, William Fisher1, Riya Trikha1, Faryn Starrs2, Jennifer Ryan2,3,4, Morgan Barense2,3, Rosanna Olsen2,3, Donna Rose Addis2,3,5; 1Department of Psychology, York University, Toronto, Canada, 2Rotman Research Institute, Baycrest Health Sciences, Toronto, Canada, 3Department of Psychology, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada, 4Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada, 5School of Psychology, The University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand

Older adults experiencing cognitive decline show deficits in episodic memory, including recall of autobiographical memories (AMs). To our knowledge, the consistency of repeated retrieval of AMs as a potential marker of cognitive decline has not been investigated. We examined whether AM consistency across a six-month interval is lower in older adults who are “at-risk” of cognitive decline. Thirty-three participants (aged 62-88) enrolled in a larger study (Olsen et al., 2017) were classified as either at-risk of cognitive decline (N=15) or healthy controls (N=18) using a cut-off score of 26 on the Montreal Cognitive Assessment. Across six monthly ‘time 1’ sessions, participants recalled 12 AMs (2 per session). At ‘time 2’ sessions that took place 6 months after the ‘time 1’ sessions, participants were cued to recall the same AMs they had described in the corresponding ‘time 1’ session. Consistency of recall was measured using Universal Sentence Encoder (USE), a machine-learning tool that captures semantic meaning. USE vectors were used to assess similarity between pairs of AMs (1=100% similarity). Wilcoxon rank sum tests revealed that the similarity of retrieved AMs were significantly greater in the control (M=0.75) than the at-risk group (M=0.69), W=45, p<.001. This group difference was also evident when the analysis was computed using only the content from each narrative coded as episodic (as per the Autobiographical Interview scoring protocol). This study informs our knowledge of the consistency of repeated AM retrieval in the context of aging and cognitive decline.

Topic Area: LONG-TERM MEMORY: Episodic


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April 13–16  |  2024