Aging predicts decline in explicit and implicit memory: a life-span study

Ward, Emma V. ORCID logoORCID:, Berry, Christopher J., Shanks, David R., Moller, Petter L. and Czsiser, Enida (2020) Aging predicts decline in explicit and implicit memory: a life-span study. Psychological Science, 31 (9) . pp. 1071-1083. ISSN 0956-7976 [Article] (Published online first) (doi:10.1177/0956797620927648)

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Explicit memory declines with age, but age effects on implicit memory are debated. This issue is important because if implicit memory is age-invariant, it may support effective interventions in individuals experiencing memory decline. This study overcame several methodological issues in past research to clarify age effects on implicit memory (priming) and their relationship to explicit memory (recognition, source memory). It aimed to (1) recruit a large lifespan sample of participants (N=1072) during a residency at the Science Museum, London, (2) employ an implicit task that is unaffected by explicit contamination, and (3) systematically manipulate depth-of-processing and attention to assess their contribution to age effects. Participants witnessed a succession of overlapping colored objects, attending to one colour stream and ignoring the other, and at test identified masked objects before judging whether they were previously attended, unattended, or new. Age significantly predicted decline in both explicit and implicit memory for attended objects.

Item Type: Article
Research Areas: A. > School of Science and Technology > Psychology
Item ID: 29675
Notes on copyright: © The Author(s) 2020
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License ( which permits any use, reproduction and distribution of the work without further permission provided the original work is attributed as specified on the SAGE and Open Access page (
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Depositing User: Emma Ward
Date Deposited: 17 Apr 2020 07:27
Last Modified: 08 Nov 2022 18:01

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