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Using orthographic neighborhood size manipulations to investigate memory deficits in aging memory

Glanc, Gina A.; Logan, Jessica M.; Grime, Megan; Anuwe, Antonette; Thompson, Janelle


Gina A. Glanc

Jessica M. Logan

Antonette Anuwe

Janelle Thompson


In three previous studies, manipulations of orthographic neighborhood size and orienting task were used to differentiate between item-specific and rela-tional processing in young adults (aged 18–35) in standard recognition tasks. The current study attempts to investigate memory deficits in older adults (aged 65+) using similar manipulations. Experiment 1 manipulated orthographic neighbor-hood size within an item recognition task. Young adults demonstrated a standard mirror effect, showing more accurate performance for low-N words. No such effect was found in older adults, possibly indicating a deficit in item-specific process-ing. Experiment 2 included an orienting task during study to emphasize a specific type of processing. While younger adults’ performance was influenced by orienting task, older adults showed consistently better performance for High-N words. These results suggest that older adults show a deficit in item-specific processing, relying more on relational processing regardless of task.

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Aug 1, 2016
Online Publication Date Aug 22, 2016
Publication Date Dec 31, 2016
Deposit Date May 19, 2021
Publicly Available Date May 20, 2021
Journal Cogent Psychology
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 3
Issue 1
Article Number 1220445
Keywords recognition memory; relational processing; item-specific processing; orthographic neighborhood size; orienting task; aging memory; memory deficits
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Using Orthographic Neighborhood Size Manipulations To Investigate Memory Deficits In Aging Memory (969 Kb)

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Copyright Statement
This open access article is distributed under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) 4.0 license.

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