episodic memory than older adults have both for real and imagined events

Episodic memory than older adults have both for real

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episodic memory than older adults have, both for real and imagined events ( Despres & others, 2017 ; Sandrini & others, 2016 ; Wang & Cabeza, 2017 ). A recent study found that episodic memory performance predicted which individuals would develop dementia 10 years prior to the clinical diagnosis of the disease ( Boraxbekk & others, 2015 ). Autobiographical memories are stored as episodic memories. A robust finding in autobiographical memory is called the reminiscence bump, in which adults remember more events from the second and third decades of their lives than from other decades ( Berntsen & Rubin, 2002 ; Rathbone, O’Connor, & Moulin, 2017 ; Steiner & others, 2014 ). The “bump” is found more for positive than negative life events. One study revealed support for the reminiscence bump and indicated that these memories were more distinct and more important for identity development ( Demiray, Gulgoz, & Bluck, 2009 ). Semantic memory is a person’s knowledge about the world. It includes a person’s fields of expertise (such as knowledge of chess, for a skilled chess player); general academic knowledge of the sort learned in school (such as knowledge of geometry); and “everyday knowledge” about meanings of words, famous individuals, important places, and common things (such as who Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi are). For the most part, episodic memory declines more than semantic memory in older adults ( Kuo & others, 2014 ; Lustig & Lin, 2016 ). Although older adults often take longer to retrieve semantic information, usually they can ultimately retrieve it. As shown in Figure 12 , semantic memory continues to increase through the fifties, showing little decline
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even through the sixties ( Ronnlund & others, 2005 ). Figure 12 also shows how the gap between semantic and episodic memory widens during middle and late adulthood. In one study, after almost five decades adults identified pictures of their high school classmates with better than 70 percent accuracy ( Bahrick, Bahrick, & Wittlinger, 1975 ). How well do most adults remember the actual subjects they learned in high school, however? In the Connecting with Research interlude, we focus on another study that examined the developmental aspects of semantic memory. FIGURE 12 CHANGES IN EPISODIC AND SEMANTIC MEMORY IN ADULTHOOD connecting with research HOW WELL DO ADULTS REMEMBER WHAT THEY LEARNED IN HIGH SCHOOL AND COLLEGE SPANISH? When older adults are assessed for what they learned in high school or college, researchers find neither great durability in memory nor huge deterioration (Salthouse, 1991 ). In one study, non-Latino adults of various ages in the United States were studied to determine how much Spanish they remembered from classes they had taken in high school or college (Bahrick, 1984 ). The individuals chosen for the study had used Spanish very little since they initially learned it in high school or college. Not surprisingly, young adults who had taken Spanish classes within the last three years remembered their Spanish best. After that, the deterioration in memory was very gradual (see Figure 13 ). For example, older adults who had studied
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