Title

Age-Related Differences in Voluntary Remembering

Presenter Information

Ava Stroud

Department

Psychological Science

Major

Psychology/Pre-medicine

Research Advisor

Belfi, Amy M.

Advisor's Department

Psychological Science

Funding Source

University of Missouri Research Board

Abstract

The ability to recall specific autobiographical memories (AMs) declines with age; however, such age-related differences in AM have only been found using tests of voluntary memory. We investigated whether involuntary AMs are more resistant to age-related decline. Involuntary AMs are memories that come to mind without any effort and are often evoked by sensory cues. We predicted that involuntary AMs would show a decreased age-related decline in episodic richness. Participants were shown three stimuli: music, pictures, and verbal prompts. After each stimulus, participants stated whether the stimulus evoked an involuntary memory. If so, they verbally described the memory. If not, they were asked to retrieve a voluntary memory. We found that older adults showed poorer performance for voluntary memories, but not involuntary memories. Our results will apply to fields like music therapy, which use music to evoke memories in individuals. Our results can also inform theories about age-related memory decline.

Biography

Ava Stroud is a senior majoring in psychology/cognitive neuroscience. She will attend A.T. Still University in Kirksville, MO in 2020 to pursue her career goal of practicing medicine. Ava is a member of the PsiChi National Honor Society and was awarded a $1500 research grant for this particular project. She is interested in memory and its function across the lifespan and will continue to do research with Dr. Belfi until she graduates.

Research Category

Social Sciences

Presentation Type

Poster Presentation

Document Type

Poster

Award

Social science poster session, First place

Location

Upper Atrium

Presentation Date

16 Apr 2019, 9:00 am - 3:00 pm

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Apr 16th, 9:00 AM Apr 16th, 3:00 PM

Age-Related Differences in Voluntary Remembering

Upper Atrium

The ability to recall specific autobiographical memories (AMs) declines with age; however, such age-related differences in AM have only been found using tests of voluntary memory. We investigated whether involuntary AMs are more resistant to age-related decline. Involuntary AMs are memories that come to mind without any effort and are often evoked by sensory cues. We predicted that involuntary AMs would show a decreased age-related decline in episodic richness. Participants were shown three stimuli: music, pictures, and verbal prompts. After each stimulus, participants stated whether the stimulus evoked an involuntary memory. If so, they verbally described the memory. If not, they were asked to retrieve a voluntary memory. We found that older adults showed poorer performance for voluntary memories, but not involuntary memories. Our results will apply to fields like music therapy, which use music to evoke memories in individuals. Our results can also inform theories about age-related memory decline.