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Neuropsychol Dev Cogn B Aging Neuropsychol Cogn. 2016 Jul;23(4):477-98. doi: 10.1080/13825585.2015.1120270. Epub 2015 Dec 10.

Aging, source memory, and the experience of "remembering".

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a School of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology , University of Mannheim , Mannheim , Germany.


In a previous study, we found source memory for perceptual features to differentiate between younger but not older adults' reports of recollective ("remember"; R) and "know" (K) experiences. In two experiments with younger (17-30 years) and older (64-81 years) participants, we examined whether memory for meaningful speaker sources would accompany older adults' recollective experience. Indeed, memory for male and female speakers (but not partial memory for gender; Experiment 1) as well as bound memory for speakers and their facial expressions (Experiment 2) distinguished between both younger and older adults' RK reports. Thus, memory for some sources forms a common basis for younger and older adults' retrieval experience. Nonetheless, older adults still showed lower objective source memory and lower subjective source-attribution confidence than younger adults when reporting recollective experiences, suggesting that source memory is less relevant to their retrieval experience than for younger adults.


Cognitive aging; binding; recollection; remember/know; source memory

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