Aging and memory for pictures of faces

Psychol Aging. 1989 Sep;4(3):276-83. doi: 10.1037//0882-7974.4.3.276.


The hypothesis that pictorial aspects of face-recognition memory are lower in old age was tested in 2 studies. Young and elderly Ss viewed 48 face pictures, and then took a test containing identical copies of input faces, pictorially changed versions of input faces, and entirely new faces. Replicating prior findings, Experiment 1 showed that false recognitions of entirely new faces were higher among elderly Ss. However, there were no age differences in distinguishing identical from pictorially changed faces. Using a modified test, Experiment 2 showed that although the elderly Ss had good knowledge that changed faces were changed, they had relatively poor knowledge of how they were changed. There appears to be age differences in analytical matching of pictorial information against information in memory.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aging / psychology*
  • Attention
  • Discrimination Learning
  • Face
  • Female
  • Form Perception*
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Memory*
  • Mental Recall*
  • Middle Aged
  • Orientation
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual*