The influence of perceptual similarity and individual differences on false memories in aging

Nancy A. Dennis, Indira C. Turney

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


Previous false memory research has suggested that older adults' false memories are based on an overreliance on gist processing in the absence of item-specific details. Yet, false memory studies have rarely taken into consideration the precise role of item-item similarity on the cognitive and neural mechanisms underlying perceptual false memories in older adults. In addition, work in our laboratory has suggested that when investigating the neural basis of false memories in older adults, it is equally as critical to take into account interindividual variability in behavior. With both factors in mind, the present study was the first to examine how both controlled, systematic differences in perceptual relatedness between targets and lures and individual differences in true and false recognition contribute to the neural basis of both true and false memories in older adults. Results suggest that between-subject variability in memory performance modulates neural activity in key regions associated with false memories in aging, whereas systematic differences in perceptual similarity did not modulate neural activity associated with false memories.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)221-230
Number of pages10
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
StatePublished - Feb 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Aging
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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