Age, affect, and cognitive ability influence the magnitude of the memory trade-off effect

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dc.contributor.advisor Gutchess, Angela Talbot, Christine E. 2018-02-05T17:22:56Z 2018-02-05T17:22:56Z 2018
dc.description.abstract Most adults demonstrate a memory trade-off when they look at an emotionally salient image. This means that their memory for the central, emotional object is fairly good, while memory for the background details is “traded-off” in favor of the emotional piece, and is relatively poor. The goal of this project was to examine possible correlations between age, affect, and cognitive ability and the memory trade-off effect. It was predicted that participants with high-affective control and higher scores in working memory tests (linked to cognition) would have a less pronounced memory trade-off. Sixty-four younger adults and sixty-seven older adults studied composite scenes that included positive, neutral, and negative items placed on neutral backgrounds and their memory was later tested for these items and backgrounds separately. In addition to the memory trade-off task, participants also completed measures designed to examine affective traits and working memory. Older and younger adults had the same pattern of performance in the memory trade-off (positive trade-off scores being higher than negative), as well as the same magnitude of memory trade-off scores. Some measures of affect were correlated with the memory trade-off in older adults, though a few of them were unexpectedly negatively correlated, meaning better performance on the affective tasks were associated with a more pronounced memory trade-off. No affective or cognitive testing scores were significantly correlated with the memory trade-off for younger adults. These results further emphasize the complexities of individual characteristics in the memory trade-off effect, and suggest that these traits may have more or less influence on memory depending on an individual’s age.
dc.description.sponsorship Brandeis University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences
dc.format.mimetype application/pdf
dc.language English
dc.language.iso eng
dc.publisher Brandeis University
dc.relation.ispartofseries Brandeis University Theses and Dissertations
dc.rights Copyright by Christine E. Talbot 2018
dc.subject Memory trade-off
dc.subject Age
dc.subject Affect
dc.subject Cognition
dc.title Age, affect, and cognitive ability influence the magnitude of the memory trade-off effect
dc.type Thesis
dc.contributor.department Interdepartmental Program in Neuroscience MS Masters Neuroscience Brandeis University, Graduate School of Arts and Sciences

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