Listwise Directed Forgetting is Present in Young-Old Adults, but is Absent in Old-Old Adults

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People can exert control over the contents of their memory and can intentionally forget information when cued to do so. The present study examined such intentional forgetting in older adults using the listwise directed forgetting (DF) task. We replicated prior work by finding intact forgetting in young-old adults (up to 75 years). Extending the prior work, we additionally found forgetting to decline gradually with individuals' age and to be inefficient in old-old adults (above 75 years). The results indicate that listwise DF is a late-declining capability, suggesting a deficit in very old adults' episodic memory control.

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