Age Differences in Episodic Associative Learning

  title={Age Differences in Episodic Associative Learning},
  author={Rachel Clark and Eliot Hazeltine and Michael V. Freedberg and Michelle W. Voss},
  journal={Psychology and Aging},
Compared with young adults, older adults demonstrate difficulty forming and retrieving episodic memories. One proposed mechanism is that older adults are impaired at binding information into nonoverlapping representations, which is a key function of the hippocampus. The current experiments evaluate age differences in acquiring new memories using a novel episodic associative learning (EAL) task designed to tap hippocampal-dependent binding. The task involved repeated exposure of stimuli pairs… 

Use of an experimental language acquisition paradigm for standardized neuropsychological assessment of learning: A pilot study in young and older adults

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The current special issue of Psychology and Aging on Age-Related Differences in Associative Memory includes 16 articles by top researchers in the area of memory and aging that provide a wealth of empirical work that addresses different aspects of aging and associative memory.

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It is shown that higher CRF in healthy older adults is related to enhanced rate of relational memory acquisition, in part mediated by benefits on the hippocampus, for the first time.

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It is shown that both higher CRF and larger hippocampal volume in healthy older adults are related to enhanced rate of relational memory acquisition, for the first time.

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The results suggest that the ability to acquire knowledge incidentally aboutconfigural response relationships is largely unaffected by cognitive aging, and the configural response learning task provides insight into the task demands that constrain learning abilities in older adults.


The results suggest the existence of a hyper-binding phenomenon in which older adults encode seemingly extraneous co-occurrences in the environment and transfer this knowledge to subsequent tasks, which may be the reason why real-world decision-making ability is retained, or even enhanced, with age.

Adult age differences in episodic memory: further support for an associative-deficit hypothesis.

The results support an ADH in that older adults show less of an associative deficit when the components of the episodes used are already connected in memory, thereby facilitating their encoding and retrieval.

The Effects of Aging on the Neural Basis of Implicit Associative Learning in a Probabilistic Triplets Learning Task

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Adult age differences in memory performance: tests of an associative deficit hypothesis.

  • M. Naveh-Benjamin
  • Psychology
    Journal of experimental psychology. Learning, memory, and cognition
  • 2000
An associative hypothesis to explain and predict older adults' deficient explicit episodic memory performance was outlined and tested and four experiments are reported that provide a converging validity and a discriminant validity to the hypothesis.

Effects of age on contextually mediated associations in paired associate learning.

Group differences in both correct-recall probabilities and intrusion analysis suggest that backward and transitive associations are sensitive to aging and that older adults are impaired at forming new item-context associations.

Implicit sequence learning without motor sequencing in young and old adults

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Feature memory and binding in young and older adults

The experiments presented here were designed to investigate the possibility that age-related changes in memory for complex events arise from deficits inMemory for the kinds of information that comprise complex memories, the processes necessary for binding this information into complex memory, or both of these components.

The associative memory deficit of older adults: further support using face-name associations.

The results extend the conditions under which older adults exhibit an associative deficit and show that reduced attentional resources are not the sole mediator of this deficit.

Competition and Cooperation among Relational Memory Representations

A novel context-dependent relational memory paradigm designed to engage multiple learning and memory systems and provides a powerful tool for investigating both the unique and interacting contributions of these systems in support of relational memory.