Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/10397/31274
Title: Incidental memory of younger and older adults for objects encountered in a real world context
Authors: Qin, X
Bochsler, TM
Aizpurua, A
Cheong, AMY 
Koutstaal, W
Legge, GE
Issue Date: 2014
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Source: PLoS one, 2014, v. 9, no. 6, e99051 How to cite?
Journal: PLoS one 
Abstract: Effects of context on the perception of, and incidental memory for, real-world objects have predominantly been investigated in younger individuals, under conditions involving a single static viewpoint. We examined the effects of prior object context and object familiarity on both older and younger adults' incidental memory for real objects encountered while they traversed a conference room. Recognition memory for context-typical and context-atypical objects was compared with a third group of unfamiliar objects that were not readily named and that had no strongly associated context. Both older and younger adults demonstrated a typicality effect, showing significantly lower 2-alternative-forced-choice recognition of context-typical than context-atypical objects; for these objects, the recognition of older adults either significantly exceeded, or numerically surpassed, that of younger adults. Testing-awareness elevated recognition but did not interact with age or with object type. Older adults showed significantly higher recognition for context-atypical objects than for unfamiliar objects that had no prior strongly associated context. The observation of a typicality effect in both age groups is consistent with preserved semantic schemata processing in aging. The incidental recognition advantage of older over younger adults for the context-typical and context-atypical objects may reflect aging-related differences in goal-related processing, with older adults under comparatively more novel circumstances being more likely to direct their attention to the external environment, or age-related differences in top-down effortful distraction regulation, with older individuals' attention more readily captured by salient objects in the environment. Older adults' reduced recognition of unfamiliar objects compared to context-atypical objects may reflect possible age differences in contextually driven expectancy violations. The latter finding underscores the theoretical and methodological value of including a third type of objects-that are comparatively neutral with respect to their contextual associations-to help differentiate between contextual integration effects (for schema-consistent objects) and expectancy violations (for schema-inconsistent objects).
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10397/31274
EISSN: 1932-6203
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0099051
Rights: © 2014 Qin et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
The following publication: Qin X, Bochsler TM, Aizpurua A, Cheong AMY, Koutstaal W, Legge GE (2014) Incidental Memory of Younger and Older Adults for Objects Encountered in a Real World Context. PLoS ONE 9(6): e99051 is available at https://doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0099051
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