INVESTIGATING NEURAL EFFECTS OF MEMORY TRAINING TO REDUCE FALSE MEMORIES IN OLDER ADULTS

Restricted (Penn State Only)
Author:
Turney, Indira Carlene
Graduate Program:
Psychology
Degree:
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Dissertation
Date of Defense:
May 24, 2018
Committee Members:
  • Nancy Anne Coulter Dennis, Dissertation Advisor
  • Frank Gerard Hillary, Committee Chair
  • Brad Wyble, Committee Member
  • Lesley Anne Ross, Committee Member
  • Charles Geier, Outside Member
Keywords:
  • Strategy-based cognitive training
  • false memory
  • neuroimaging
  • aging
  • retrieval-based false memory
  • cognitive training
Abstract:
The growing population of older adults emphasizes the need to develop interventions that prevent or delay some of the negative cognitive changes that accompany aging. In particular, as memory impairment is the foremost cognitive deficit affecting older adults, it is vital that such interventions include improving memory functioning. With regard to memory, it has been shown that age-related memory impairment arises equally from age-related increases in forgetting and increases in false memories (FMs). My dissertation addressed the problem of FMs in aging by training older adults to use details of past events during memory retrieval in order to distinguish targets from related lures. Specifically, I manipulated monitoring via a retrieval-based monitoring strategy training that was aimed at reducing FMs in older adults. I also examined the cognitive and neural basis of this retrieval-based monitoring strategy in reducing FMs. Behaviorally, repeated measures analysis show training-related decreases in rates of FMs and increases in true memories and correct rejections, more so in the Training group compared to the Control group. Neurally, results show increased recruitment of fronto-parietal monitoring network in both groups after training. This reflected the support for behavioral gains after training. Because neural activity was similar for both the Control and Training group, results suggest possible practice effects and exposure to the task between both groups and possible detrimental effects of small sample size and rigor of our RBMS training. Nevertheless, findings are informative to the field of false memories and providing great insight into understanding the computational processes of the fronto-parietal monitoring network and its role in false memories.