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Differences in binding and monitoring mechanisms contribute to lifespan age differences in false memory

Fandakova Y, Shing YL & Lindenberger U (2013) Differences in binding and monitoring mechanisms contribute to lifespan age differences in false memory, Developmental Psychology, 49 (10), pp. 1822-1832.

Based on a 2-component framework of episodic memory development across the lifespan (Shing & Lindenberger, 2011), we examined the contribution of memory-related binding and monitoring processes to false memory susceptibility in childhood and old age. We administered a repeated continuous recognition task to children (N = 20, 10-12 years), younger adults (N = 20, 20-27 years), and older adults (N = 21, 68-76 years). Participants saw the same set of unrelated word pairs in 3 consecutive runs and their task was to identify pair reoccurrences within runs. Across runs, correct detection of repeated pairs decreased in children only, whereas false recognition of lure pairs showed a greater increase in older adults than in children or younger adults. False recognition of rearranged pairs decreased across runs for all participants. This decrease was most pronounced in children, in particular for high-confidence memory errors. We conclude that memory binding mechanisms are sufficiently developed in children to facilitate memory monitoring and reduce false memory for associative information. In contrast, older adults show senescent impairments in both binding and monitoring mechanisms that both contribute to elevated illusory recollections in old age. We conclude that binding and monitoring processes during memory performance follow different developmental trajectories from childhood to old age.

aging; child development; episodic memory; false memory; lifespan

AuthorsFandakova Yana, Shing Yee Lee, Lindenberger Ulman
Publication date10/2013
Publication date online31/12/2012
Date accepted by journal02/11/2012
PublisherAmerican Psychological Association
ISSN 0012-1649

Developmental Psychology: Volume 49, Issue 10 (2013)

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