ISSN 1671-3710
CN 11-4766/R

Advances in Psychological Science ›› 2019, Vol. 27 ›› Issue (10): 1677-1686.doi: 10.3724/SP.J.1042.2019.01677

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Age-related associative memory deficit and its influential factors

ZHAO Mengyang, GUO Ruoyu, MAO Weibin(), ZHAO Cancan   

  1. School of Psychology, Shandong Normal University, Jinan 250358, China
  • Received:2018-11-19 Online:2019-10-15 Published:2019-08-19
  • Contact: Weibin MAO


Associative memory is generally impaired with age in older adults. It continues to be controversial about the mechanism of age-related associative memory deficit, whether the age-related associative memory deficit is a specific deficit caused by impaired binding function or a global deficit of information representation caused by impaired global cognitive function. The specific deficit view represented by the Associative Deficit Hypothesis (ADH) proposed by Naveh-Benjamin (2000) believed that the age-related associative memory deficit was associated with a deficit of specific processing processes for encoding and retrieving the binding of items in older adults. However, the global deficit view represented by the DRYAD model proposed by Benjamin (2010) suggested that the age-related associative memory deficit was linked to the global deficit in memory fidelity in the elderly. Both the ADH and the DRYAD model predict that associative memory will be impaired in older adults, but these two theories have their own different assumptions, corresponding empirical evidence, and some potential limitations. In addition, the factors affecting the age-related associative deficit were discussed from two aspects: the characteristics of the stimuli and participants. Future studies should not only focus on the cognitive mechanism and influencing factors of the age-related associative deficit, but also pay more attention to its practical application and clinical guiding value.

Key words: associative memory, aging, age-related associative deficit, global deficit view, specific deficit view

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