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Brain Volume Differences and Proactive Interference: A VBM Investigation of Healthy Cognitive Aging.

Siegel, Jonathan (2014) Brain Volume Differences and Proactive Interference: A VBM Investigation of Healthy Cognitive Aging. Master's Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Research on aging and memory has consistently demonstrated decreased memory performance in older adults, specifically on tasks measuring verbal and spatial memory. Memory decline in aging is partially related to interference from competing information. In older adults, the learning of new information is more adversely affected by already-formed memories (i.e. proactive interference) than in younger adults. However, interference of new information on already- formed memories (retroactive interference) is less affected by age. The present investigation examined the association between proactive and retroactive interference, and brain volume in young and older adults. Proactive and retroactive interference were assessed with a Modified modified free recall (MMFR) test. Participants (n=39) first studied AB and DE word pairs three times before undergoing a cued recall test. Following AB-DE testing, participants had only one study-test cycle of AC and FG word pairs. Finally, participants completed the MMFR test to evaluate their memory for all previously studied and tested words. Results revealed that older adults experienced significantly more proactive interference than younger adults (performance on MMFR-AC minus MMFR-FG), but both age groups performed similarly on the retroactive interference measures. It was hypothesized that brain volume, and specifically Hippocampal and prefrontal volume, would be significantly correlated to memory performance; however no significant correlations were found with any specific brain regions.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairWheeler,
Committee MemberErickson, Kirk Ikiericks@pitt.eduKIERICKS
Committee MemberAizenstein, Howard Jaizensteinhj@upmc.eduAIZEN
Date: 16 September 2014
Date Type: Publication
Defense Date: 6 May 2014
Approval Date: 16 September 2014
Submission Date: 30 July 2014
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Number of Pages: 37
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Psychology
Degree: MS - Master of Science
Thesis Type: Master's Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: Memory, memory interference, sleep, exercise, aging, MMFR, recall, VBM, fMRI
Date Deposited: 16 Sep 2014 15:09
Last Modified: 19 Dec 2016 14:42

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  • Brain Volume Differences and Proactive Interference: A VBM Investigation of Healthy Cognitive Aging. (deposited 16 Sep 2014 15:09) [Currently Displayed]


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