Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Older adults experience 'destination amnesia'

31.08.2010
...and over-confidence with false beliefs
Toronto, Canada – I'm sure I told you that already!

Older adults are more likely to have destination memory failures – forgetting who they've shared or not shared information with, according to a new study led by Baycrest's Rotman Research Institute.

It's the kind of memory faux pas that can lead to awkward or embarrassing social situations and even miscommunication in the doctor's office. Ironically, after making these memory errors older adults remain highly confident in their false beliefs.

The study appears online, ahead of print publication, in the Online First Section of Psychology and Aging.

"What we've found is that older adults tend to experience more destination amnesia than younger adults," said lead investigator and cognitive scientist Dr. Nigel Gopie, who led the study with internationally-renowned experts in memory and attention, Drs. Fergus Craik and Lynn Hasher.

"Destination amnesia is characterized by falsely believing you've told someone something, such as believing you've told your daughter about needing a ride to an appointment, when you actually had told a neighbour."

Why are older adults more prone to destination memory failures? The ability to focus and pay attention declines with age, so older adults use up most of their attentional resources on the telling of information and don't properly encode the context (ie. who they are speaking to) for later recall.

"Older adults are additionally highly confident, compared to younger adults, that they have never told people particular things when they actually had," added Dr. Gopie. "This over-confidence presumably causes older adults to repeat information to people."

A critical finding in the study is that destination memory is more vulnerable to age-related decline than source memory. Source memory is the ability to recall which person told you certain information.

In the research, 40 students from the University of Toronto (ages 18 - 30) and 40 healthy older adults from the community (ages 60 - 83) were divided into two experimental groups. The first experiment measured destination memory accuracy and confidence: requiring the individual to read out loud 50 interesting facts to 50 celebrities (whose faces appear on a computer screen), one at a time, and then remember which fact they told to which famous person. For example, "a dime has 118 ridges around it" and I told this fact to Oprah Winfrey.

The second experiment measured source memory accuracy and confidence: requiring the individual to remember which famous person told them a particular fact. For example, Tom Cruise told me that "the average person takes 12 minutes to fall asleep".

In the first experiment for destination memory accuracy, older adults' performance was 21% worse than their younger counterparts.

In the second experiment for source memory accuracy, older and younger adults performed about the same (60% for young, 50% for old) in recollecting which famous face told them a particular fact.

The study was funded by the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Canadian Institutes of Health Research, U.S. National Institute on Aging, and a Baycrest Jack and Rita Catherall Award.

The study follows an earlier one published last year in Psychological Science by Dr. Gopie (Baycrest's Rotman Research Institute) and Dr. Colin M. MacLeod (University of Waterloo). That one looked at disrupted destination memory in a single age group – university-aged students.

Baycrest

A health-sciences centre affiliated with the University of Toronto, Baycrest's internationally-renowned scientific research and clinical practice is dedicated to transforming the journey of aging.

Kelly Connelly | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.baycrest.org

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Do microplastics harbour additional risks by colonization with harmful bacteria?
05.04.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Ostseeforschung Warnemünde

nachricht Rutgers-led innovation could spur faster, cheaper, nano-based manufacturing
14.02.2018 | Rutgers University

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Spider silk key to new bone-fixing composite

University of Connecticut researchers have created a biodegradable composite made of silk fibers that can be used to repair broken load-bearing bones without the complications sometimes presented by other materials.

Repairing major load-bearing bones such as those in the leg can be a long and uncomfortable process.

Im Focus: Writing and deleting magnets with lasers

Study published in the journal ACS Applied Materials & Interfaces is the outcome of an international effort that included teams from Dresden and Berlin in Germany, and the US.

Scientists at the Helmholtz-Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) together with colleagues from the Helmholtz-Zentrum Berlin (HZB) and the University of Virginia...

Im Focus: Gamma-ray flashes from plasma filaments

Novel highly efficient and brilliant gamma-ray source: Based on model calculations, physicists of the Max PIanck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg propose a novel method for an efficient high-brilliance gamma-ray source. A giant collimated gamma-ray pulse is generated from the interaction of a dense ultra-relativistic electron beam with a thin solid conductor. Energetic gamma-rays are copiously produced as the electron beam splits into filaments while propagating across the conductor. The resulting gamma-ray energy and flux enable novel experiments in nuclear and fundamental physics.

The typical wavelength of light interacting with an object of the microcosm scales with the size of this object. For atoms, this ranges from visible light to...

Im Focus: Basel researchers succeed in cultivating cartilage from stem cells

Stable joint cartilage can be produced from adult stem cells originating from bone marrow. This is made possible by inducing specific molecular processes occurring during embryonic cartilage formation, as researchers from the University and University Hospital of Basel report in the scientific journal PNAS.

Certain mesenchymal stem/stromal cells from the bone marrow of adults are considered extremely promising for skeletal tissue regeneration. These adult stem...

Im Focus: Like a wedge in a hinge

Researchers lay groundwork to tailor drugs for new targets in cancer therapy

In the fight against cancer, scientists are developing new drugs to hit tumor cells at so far unused weak points. Such a “sore spot” is the protein complex...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

Unique scope of UV LED technologies and applications presented in Berlin: ICULTA-2018

12.04.2018 | Event News

IWOLIA: A conference bringing together German Industrie 4.0 and French Industrie du Futur

09.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Magnetic nano-imaging on a table top

20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Start of work for the world's largest electric truck

20.04.2018 | Interdisciplinary Research

Atoms may hum a tune from grand cosmic symphony

20.04.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>