Aging Effects on Recollection and Familiarity: The Role of White Matter Hyperintensities
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Previous studies have indicated that aging is associated with declines in recollection whereas familiarity-based recognition is left largely unaffected. The brain changes underlying these recollection declines are yet not well understood. In the current study we examined the role of white matter integrity as measured by white matter hyperintensities (WMH) on age-related changes in recollection and familiarity. Recognition was measured using a remember/know procedure (Experiment 1) and a source-memory process-dissociation procedure (Experiment 2). Robust age related declines in recollection were observed, but there was no evidence that white matter damage was related to the observed memory declines. Although future studies with larger samples will be necessary to fully characterize the role of WMH in normal age-related declines in different types of memory, the results suggest that declines in recollection are not strongly related to the brain changes indexed by WMHs.
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