Washington University, St. Louis, Missouri Older adults’ heightened susceptibility to false memories has been linked to compromised frontal lobe functioning as estimated by Glisky and colleagues’ (Glisky, Polster, & Routhieaux, 1995) neuropsychological battery (e.g., Butler, McDaniel, Dornburg, Price, & Roediger, 2004). This conclusion, however, rests on the untested assumption that young adults have uniformly high frontal functioning. We tested this assumption, and we correlated younger and older adults’ frontal scores with veridical and false recall probabilities with prose materials. Substantial variability in scores on the Glisky battery occurred for younger (and older) adults. However, frontal scores and age were independent contributors to recall probabilities. Frontal functioning is not the sole cause of older adults’ heightened susceptibility to false memories.
Anderson, N. D., &Craik, F. I. M. (2000). Memory in the aging brain. In E. Tulving & F. I. M. Craik (Eds.),The Oxford handbook of memory (pp. 411–425). New York: Oxford University Press.
Brewer, W. F. (1977). Memory for the pragmatic implications of sentences.Memory & Cognition,5, 673–678.
Bryan, J., &Luszcz, M. A. (1996). Speed of information processing as a mediator between age and free-recall performance.Psychology & Aging,11, 3–9.
Buckner, R. L. (2004). Memory and executive function in aging and AD: multiple factors that cause decline and reserve factors that compensate.Neuron,44, 195–208.
Butler, K. M., McDaniel, M. A., Dornburg, C. C., Price, A. L., &Roediger, H. L., III (2004). Age differences in veridical and false recall are not inevitable: The role of frontal lobe function.Psychonomic Bulletin & Review,11, 921–925.
Cabeza, R., Anderson, N. D., Locantore, J. K., &McIntosh, A. R. (2002). Aging gracefully: Compensatory brain activity in high-performing older adults.NeuroImage,17, 1394–1402.
Cabeza, R., &Nyberg, L. (2000). Neural bases of learning and memory: functional neuroimaging evidence.Current Opinion in Neurology,13, 415–421.
Chan, J. C. K., &McDermott, K. B. (2006). Remembering pragmatic inference.Applied Cognitive Psychology,20, 633–639.
Davidson, P., &Glisky, E. L. (2002). Neuropsychological correlates of recollection and familiarity in normal aging.Cognitive, Affective, & Behavioral Neuroscience,2, 174–186.
Dywan, J., &Jacoby, L. L. (1990). Effects of aging on source monitoring: Differences in susceptibility to false fame.Psychology & Aging,5, 379–387.
Glisky, E. L., Polster, M. R., &Routhieaux, B. (1995). Double dissociation between item and source memory.Neuropsychology,9, 229–235.
Hart, R. P., Kwentus, J. A., Wade, J. B., &Taylor, J. R. (1988). Modified Wisconsin Sorting test in elderly normal, depressed and demented patients.Clinical Neuropsychologist,2, 49–56.
Henkel, L. A., Johnson, M. K., &De Leonardis, D. M. (1998). Aging and source memory: Cognitive processes and neuropsychological correlates.Journal of Experimental Psychology: General,127, 251–268.
Hoshi, Y., Oda, I., Wada, Y., Ito, Y., Yamashita, Y., Oda, M., et al. (2000). Visuospatial imagery is a fruitful strategy for the digit span backward task: A study with near-infrared optical tomography.Cognitive Brain Research,9, 339–342.
Jacoby, L. L. (1991). A process dissociation framework: Separating automatic and intentional uses of memory.Journal of Memory & Language,30, 513–541.
Jaschinski, U., &Wentura, D. (2002). Misleading postevent information and working memory capacity: An individual differences approach to eyewitness memory.Applied Cognitive Psychology,16, 223–231.
Johnson, M. K., Bransford, J. D., &Solomon, S. K. (1973). Memory for tacit implications of sentences.Journal of Experimental Psychology,98, 203–205.
Kausler, D. H. (1994).Learning and memory in normal aging. San Diego: Academic Press.
Logan, J. M., Sanders, A. L., Snyder, A. Z., Morris, J. C., &Buckner, R. L. (2002). Under-recruitment and nonselective recruitment: Dissociable neural mechanisms associated with aging.Neuron,33, 827–840.
Lovden, M. (2003). The episodic memory and inhibition accounts of age-related increases in false memories: A consistency check.Journal of Memory & Language,49, 268–283.
McDermott, K. B., &Chan, J. C. K. (2006). Effects of repetition on memory for pragmatic inferences.Memory & Cognition,34, 1273–1284.
Multhaup, K. S., De Leonardis, D. M., &Johnson, H. M. (1999). Source memory and eyewitness suggestibility in older adults.Journal of General Psychology,126, 74–84.
Norman, K. A., &Schacter, D. L. (1997). False recognition in younger and older adults: Exploring the characteristics of illusory memories.Memory & Cognition,25, 838–848.
Raz, N. (2000). Aging of the brain and its impact on cognitive performance: Integration of structural and functional findings. In F. I. M. Craik & T. A. Salthouse (Eds.),The handbook of aging and cognition (2nd ed., pp. 1–90). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
Rhodes, M. G., &Kelley, C. M. (2005). Executive processes, memory accuracy, and memory monitoring: An aging and individual difference analysis.Journal of Memory & Language,52, 578–594.
Roediger, H. L., III, &Geraci, L. (2007). Aging and the misinformation effect: A neuropsychological analysis.Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, & Cognition,33, 321–334.
Roediger, H. L., III, &McDermott, K. B. (1995). Creating false mem ories: Remembering words not presented in lists.Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, & Cognition,21, 803–814.
Salthouse, T. A. (1996). The processing-speed theory of adult age differences in cognition.Psychological Review,103, 403–428.
Smith, A. B., Taylor, E., Brammer, M., &Rubia, K. (2004). Neural correlates of switching set as measured in fast, event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging.Human Brain Mapping,21, 247–256.
Spreen, O., &Benton, A. L. (1977).Neurosensory Center Comprehensive Examination for Aphasia (NCCEA). Victoria, BC: University of Victoria, Neuropsychology Laboratory.
Velanova, K., Jacoby, L. L., Wheeler, M. E., McAvoy, M. P., Petersen, S. E., &Buckner, R. L. (2003). Functional-anatomic correlates of sustained and transient processing components engaged during controlled retrieval.Journal of Neuroscience,23, 8460–8470.
Warburton, E. A., Wise, R. J. S., Price, C. J., Weiller, C., Hadar, U., Ramsay, S., et al. (1996). Noun and verb retrieval by normal subjects: Studies with PET.Brain,119, 159–179.
Watson, J. M., Bunting, M. F., Poole, B. J., &Conway, A. R. A. (2005). Individual differences in susceptibility to false memory in the Deese-Roediger-McDermott paradigm.Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, & Cognition,31, 76–85.
Wechsler, D. (1981).Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Revised manual. New York: Psychological Corp.
Wechsler, D. (1997).Wechsler Memory Scale-III manual. New York: Psychological Corp.
West, R. L. (1996). An application of prefrontal cortex function theory to cognitive aging.Psychological Bulletin,120, 272–292.
Zachary, R. (1986).Shipley Institute of Living Scale-Revised manual. Los Angeles: Western Psychological Services.
About this article
Cite this article
Chan, J.C.K., McDermott, K.B. The effects of frontal lobe functioning and age on veridical and false recall. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review 14, 606–611 (2007). https://doi.org/10.3758/BF03196809
- Frontal Lobe
- Work Memory Capacity
- False Memory
- Source Memory
- False Recall