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Poster B155

Memory-in-a-Box: Assessing Age-Related Differences in Memory Function using a Novel Online Staged Event

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

Mrinmayi Kulkarni1 (, Barbara Gundi1, Rosanna K. Olsen1,2, Morgan D. Barense2, Bradley R. Buchsbaum1,2; 1Rotman Research Institute, Baycrest Academy for Research and Education, 2University of Toronto

Naturalistic paradigms are important for better capturing real-world memory function. In some studies memory is tested for complex, multimodal events experienced at encoding. Such experimenter-designed “staged events” mimic naturalistic experiences, while providing control over encoding materials. However, aggregating results across previous studies has been challenging due to the idiosyncratic nature of the staged events used. Standardization of the events can enable such comparisons. Here, we developed an online staged event as a standardized test of naturalistic memory. Healthy younger and older adults completed two video call sessions, one week apart. The staged event included six planned activities such as watching a video and playing word games. Memory was tested immediately following the event (immediate test), and in Session 2 (delayed test). Using recognition and recall tasks, item and associative episodic, and semantic memory was tested. Recall of semantic facts, and episodic memory accuracy in the recognition task was lower in the delayed than the immediate test, but was matched between groups. However, during recall, older adults exhibited poorer memory for episodic item and associative detail relative to younger adults, particularly at delayed test. Finally, in older adults, associative recall, but not recognition performance, correlated with Montreal Cognitive Assessment scores, indicating that such naturalistic tasks may capture meaningful variations in cognition. These results suggest that age-related differences in memory manifest differently depending on how and what type of memory is probed, highlighting the importance of using ecologically valid stimuli that permit testing of different aspects of memory for the same event.

Topic Area: LONG-TERM MEMORY: Episodic


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