Younger people store memories in high definition

Washington, Jan. 15 (ANI): Researchers have said that younger people's memories seem better because they are able to retrieve them in higher definition.

Under the mentorship of Dr. Brandon Ally, Philip Ko of Vanderbilt University in the US, led the research team to focus on visual working memory, a person's ability to briefly retain a limited amount of visual information in the absence of visual stimuli.

Their examination of why this function is reduced during the course of healthy aging took the multiple stages of encoding, maintenance, and the retrieval of memorized information into account.

They ran 11 older adults of around 67 years of age and 13 younger adults of approximately 23 years of age through a task called 'visual change detection.'

This task consisted of viewing two, three or four colored dots and memorizing their appearance. These dots disappeared, and then after a few seconds the participants were presented with a single dot appearing in one of the memorized colors or a new color.

Electroencephalographic data was also collected from the participants as they performed the task for a neural measure of their memory capacity.

Dr. Ko found that while behavioral measures indicated a lower capacity in older adults than younger adults to memorize items, the neural measure of memory capacity was very similar in both groups.

The researchers suggest, however, that older adults store the items at a lower resolution than younger adults, resulting in impaired recollection.

The study has been published in the journal Attention, Perception and Psychophysics. (ANI)