The Associative Deficit in Older Adult Memory: Recognition of Pairs Is Not Improved by Repetition

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Abstract

This study used a novel experimental paradigm that combined associative recognition and list discrimination to study the associative deficit in older adults' memory (M. Naveh-Benjamin, 2000). Participants viewed 2 lists of word-face pairs and were tested on recognition of pairs from the second study list. Older and young adults' recognition was increased by repetition of individual items, but repetition of pairs of items increased recognition in young adults only. This provides converging evidence that older adults do not form associative links between items within pairs and supports the hypothesis that an associative deficit contributes to age-related memory decline.

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