The ERP correlates of self-knowledge in ageing

Tanguay, Annick F. N., Johnen, Ann-Kathrin, Markostamou, Ioanna, Lambert, Rachel, Rudrum, Megan, Davidson, Patrick S. R. and Renoult, Louis ORCID: (2022) The ERP correlates of self-knowledge in ageing. Memory & Cognition, 50 (3). 564–585. ISSN 0090-502X

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Self-knowledge is a type of personal semantic knowledge that concerns one’s self-image and personal identity. It has most often been operationalized as the summary of one’s personality traits (“I am a stubborn person”). Interestingly, recent studies have revealed that the neural correlates of self-knowledge can be dissociated from those of general semantic and episodic memory in young adults. However, studies of “dedifferentiation” or loss of distinctiveness of neural representations in ageing suggest that the neural correlates of self-knowledge might be less distinct from those of semantic and episodic memory in older adults. We investigated this question in an event-related potential (ERP) study with 28 young and 26 older adults while they categorised personality traits for their self-relevance (self-knowledge conditions), and their relevance to certain groups of people (general semantic condition). Participants then performed a recognition test for previously seen traits (episodic condition). The amplitude of the late positive component (LPC), associated with episodic recollection processes, differentiated the self-knowledge, general semantic, and episodic conditions in young adults, but not in older adults. However, in older adults, participants with higher composite episodic memory scores had more differentiated LPC amplitudes across experimental conditions. Moreover, consistent with the fact that age-related neural dedifferentiation may be material and region specific, in both age groups some differences between memory types were observed for the N400 component, associated with semantic processing. Taken together, these findings suggest that declarative memory subtypes are less distinct in ageing, but that the amount of differentiation varies with episodic memory function.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: Acknowledgments: This research was funded by an Academic and Professional Development Fund of the University of Ottawa (APTPUO) awarded to Annick F. N. Tanguay. Louis Renoult, and Ann-Kathrin Johnen are supported by Grant MR/S011463/1 from the Medical Research Council (MRC). Patrick S. R. Davidson is supported by an NSERC Discovery grant. The datasets generated during and/or analysed during the current study are available from the corresponding author on reasonable request.
Uncontrolled Keywords: ageing,episodic memory,event-related potentials,semantic memory,neuropsychology and physiological psychology,experimental and cognitive psychology,arts and humanities (miscellaneous) ,/dk/atira/pure/subjectarea/asjc/3200/3206
Faculty \ School: Faculty of Social Sciences > School of Psychology
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Depositing User: LivePure Connector
Date Deposited: 10 Aug 2021 01:28
Last Modified: 23 Oct 2022 02:53
DOI: 10.3758/s13421-021-01225-7


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