Recognition memory across the lifespan: the impact of word frequency and study-test interval on estimates of familiarity and recollection

Meier, Beat; Rey-Mermet, Alodie; Rothen, Nicolas; Graf, Peter (2013). Recognition memory across the lifespan: the impact of word frequency and study-test interval on estimates of familiarity and recollection. Frontiers in Psychology, 4(787), p. 787. Frontiers Research Foundation 10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00787

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The goal of this study was to investigate recognition memory performance across the lifespan and to determine how estimates of recollection and familiarity contribute to performance. In each of three experiments, participants from five groups from 14 up to 85 years of age (children, young adults, middle-aged adults, young-old adults, and old-old adults) were presented with high- and low-frequency words in a study phase and were tested immediately afterwards and/or after a one day retention interval. The results showed that word frequency and retention interval affected recognition memory performance as well as estimates of recollection and familiarity. Across the lifespan, the trajectory of recognition memory followed an inverse u-shape function that was neither affected by word frequency nor by retention interval. The trajectory of estimates of recollection also followed an inverse u-shape function, and was especially pronounced for low-frequency words. In contrast, estimates of familiarity did not differ across the lifespan. The results indicate that age differences in recognition memory are mainly due to differences in processes related to recollection while the contribution of familiarity-based processes seems to be age-invariant.

Item Type: Journal Article (Original Article)
Division/Institute: 07 Faculty of Human Sciences > Institute of Psychology > Experimental Psychology and Neuropsychology
10 Strategic Research Centers > Center for Cognition, Learning and Memory (CCLM)
UniBE Contributor: Meier, Beat and Rey-Mermet, Alodie
Subjects: 100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology
600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
ISSN: 1664-1078
Publisher: Frontiers Research Foundation
Language: English
Submitter: Anna Maria Ruprecht
Date Deposited: 23 Apr 2014 14:11
Last Modified: 26 Jun 2016 01:48
Publisher DOI: 10.3389/fpsyg.2013.00787
PubMed ID: 24198796
BORIS DOI: 10.7892/boris.45171
URI: http://boris.unibe.ch/id/eprint/45171

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