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J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 2002 Jan;57(1):P41-6.

Preserved olfactory cuing of autobiographical memories in old age.

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Department of Psychology, University of Warwick, England.


The authors investigated whether olfactory cues can facilitate memory retrieval and whether they retain their effectiveness in old age. In Phase 1, 57 young and 57 old adults (mean ages of 21 and 84 years, respectively) were asked to recall autobiographical memories associated with each of six cue words. In Phase 2, the same words were presented again with instructions to recall new memories; on this second occasion, half of the words were accompanied by their appropriate odors. Both age groups recalled more than twice as many memories in Phase 2 with the odor than without the odor, providing evidence for substantial olfactory cuing that is remarkably intact in old age.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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