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Destination memory in social interaction: better memory for older than for younger destinations in normal aging?

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Destination memory, a memory component allowing the attribution of information to its appropriate receiver (e.g., to whom did I lend my pen?), is compromised in normal aging. The present paper investigated whether older adults might show better memory for older destinations than for younger destinations. This hypothesis is based on empirical research showing better memory for older faces than for younger faces in older adults. Forty-one older adults and 44 younger adults were asked to tell proverbs to older and younger destinations (i.e., coloured faces). On a later recognition test, participants had to decide whether they had previously told some proverb to an older/younger destination or not. Prior to this task, participants reported their frequency of contact with other-age groups. The results showed lower destination memory in older adults than in younger adults. Interestingly, older adults displayed better memory for older than for younger destinations. The opposite pattern was seen in younger adults. The low memory for younger destinations, as observed in older adults, was significantly correlated with limited exposure to younger individuals. These findings suggest that for older adults, the social experience can play a crucial role in the destination memory, at least as far as exposure to other-age groups is concerned.
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Keywords: Aging; destination memory; own-age bias

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: SCALab – Sciences Cognitives et Sciences Affectives, UMR 9193, CHU Lille, CNRS, University of Lille, Lille, France 2: Epsylon Laboratory, EA 4556, University Montpellier III, Montpellier, France 3: Donders Institute for Brain, Cognition and Behaviour, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen, Netherlands 4: Centre National de Référence pour les Maladies Neurogénétiques de l’Adulte, Département de Neurologie, Centre Hospitalier Universitaire d’Angers, Angers, France

Publication date: May 28, 2018

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