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K-State Today

December 8, 2021

Karen Campbell to present on aging and memory for events

Submitted by Effie Swanson

Karen Campbell

The Center for Cognitive and Neurobiological Approaches to Plasticity, or CNAP, invites you to attend a colloquium presentation by Karen Campbell, associate professor of psychology at Brock University. The presentation will be at 11:30 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 8, in 498 Bluemont Hall. The event is free and open to the public.

Campbell will present her work "Aging and memory for events: Further evidence of preserved binding with age." A long line of work suggests that the binding process — or the ability to form new associations in memory — declines with age. Campbell's work, however, has challenged this position by showing that implicit associative memory remains relatively intact with age and indeed, older adults may actually form more associations than younger adults due to decreased attentional control. Campbell's team has shown this "hyper-binding" effect several times using static materials — such as pictures and words — but it remains to be seen whether hyper-binding extends to memory for dynamic, naturalistic materials, such as movies. In this talk, Campbell will present some recent work that suggests that older adults are less able to suppress recently attended information, and this sometimes leads to the formation of associations across event boundaries during movie watching. While these cross-event associations may often lead to memory errors, they may also enable a greater appreciation of overarching themes and contribute to older adults' status as better storytellers.

This presentation is sponsored by CNAP, a National Institutes of Health-funded Center of Biomedical Research Excellence under grant number P20GM113109.