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Title: The relationship between an age decline in visual imagery and autobiographical memory
Author: Cox, P.
Awarding Body: University of Aberdeen
Current Institution: University of Aberdeen
Date of Award: 2007
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The main aim of this thesis was to investigate age related changes in visual imagery and autobiographical recollection. The results of chapters 3 and 4 show that older adults experience deficits in the recall of episodic autobiographical memory. The results also show that there are no age differences in the vividness of visual images or the spontaneous use of visual images and these cognitive constructs are not related to age related deficits in autobiographical memory. Chapter 5 shows that younger adults report more details than older adults when recalling an autobiographical memory after a three month retention interval. However, there are no age differences in the accuracy of these autobiographical memories. It was therefore concluded that both groups of adults used the same cognitive strategy to retrieve and generate an autobiographical memory for a recently experienced event. The results from the autobiographical memory task in chapter 6 showed that there were no age differences in the specificity of older and younger adults’ autobiographical memories. The older adults were slower to respond to the image generation and maintenance tasks but did not make more errors than the younger adults for both the image generation and maintenance tasks. The results reported in chapters 7 and 8 indicate that a visual imagery instruction given during encoding did not aid the recall and recognition memory for emotionally arousing pictures in older adults. Overall, it would therefore seem that the visual imagery abilities of the older adults tested throughout this thesis were relatively intact which meant that a decline in imagery ability was not responsible for the autobiographical memory deficits experienced by the older adults.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available