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The Effects of Prior Knowledge on Mnemonic Discrimination in Young and Other Adults, and in Hippocampal Amnesia

The Effects of Prior Knowledge on Mnemonic Discrimination in Young and Other Adults, and in Hippocampal Amnesia

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Title: The Effects of Prior Knowledge on Mnemonic Discrimination in Young and Other Adults, and in Hippocampal Amnesia
Author: Pishdadian, Sara
Abstract: The hippocampus is critical to discriminating between newly learned, highly similar stimuli; less clear is its role in discriminating representations based on prior knowledge. In this study, young adults, older adults divided by performance on a cognitive screening measure, and people with hippocampal amnesia were asked to discriminate between pairs of real-world familiar landmarks and well-known animals using the metrics of geographical distance and size. Results showed all participants had lower accuracy for judgments with more similar item pairs. Low-performing older adults showed selectively worse performance on judgments with more similar item pairs. Amnesic individuals performance appeared to depend on lesion location. Only patient BL, who has selective bilateral dentate gyrus lesions, had difficulty on the landmark task when judging between highly similar distances. These results reinforce the importance of investigating representation similarity, even for well-established representations, and offer insight into mnemonic discrimination across the lifespan and within amnesia.
Subject: Neurosciences
Keywords: Memory
Episodic memory
Spatial memory
Pattern separation
Mnemonic discrimination
Hippocampus
Aging
Older adults
Amnesia
Hippocampal amnesia
Memory loss
Semantic
Semantic memory
Prior knowledge
Dentate gyrus
Lesion
Neuropsychology
Type: Electronic Thesis or Dissertation
Rights: Author owns copyright, except where explicitly noted. Please contact the author directly with licensing requests.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10315/35565
Supervisor: Rosenbaum, Shayna
Degree: MA - Master of Arts
Program: Psychology(Functional Area: Clinical Psychology)
Exam date: 2018-08-01
Publish on: 2018-11-21

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