Mind-Brain Lecture: Yee Lee Shing (Berlin)
Host: Michael Pauen
Abstract: The functioning of episodic memory undergoes profound and continuous changes across the human lifespan. However, the underlying cognitive and neural mechanisms of memory development and aging are not well understood. In this talk I will present the two-component framework of episodic memory across the lifespan, in which we hypothesized that (a) children’s difficulties in episodic memory primarily originate from low level of strategic functioning, and reflect the protracted development of the prefrontal cortex; (b) deficits in episodic memory performance among older adults originate from impairments in both strategic and associative components, reflecting senescent changes in the prefrontal cortex and medio-temporal lobes. I will present three lines of work that demonstrate the validity of the two-component framework. First, the plasticity of episodic memory is greater in children than in older adults. With training, children show greater improvements and higher levels of asymptotic performance than older adults, even when they initially performed at the same or lower levels. Second, compared to children, older adults have considerably greater difficulties in rejecting rearranged associative information. Individual differences in false alarm rates of associative recognition are uniquely related to the volume of the hippocampal dentate gyrus. Third, age-related decline in memory monitoring, in interaction with binding deficits, contributes to age differences in false memory for highly familiar events. I will discuss the extent to which these findings support the two-component framework, and present an outlook for future research on mechanisms of lifespan differences in episodic memory.
Dr. Yee Lee Shing, Research Scientist, Center for Lifespan Psychology, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Lentzeallee 94, 14195 Berlin
All are welcome!