Aging effects on recollection and familiarity: The role of white matter Hyperintensities

Colleen M. Parks, Charles DeCarli, Larry L. Jacoby, Andrew P. Yonelinas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations


Previous studies have indicated that aging is associated with declines in recollection whereas familiarity-based recognition is left largely unaffected. The brain changes underlying these recollection declines are yet not well understood. In the current study we examined the role of white matter integrity as measured by white matter hyperintensities (WMH) on age-related changes in recollection and familiarity. Recognition was measured using a remember/know procedure (Experiment 1) and a source-memory process-dissociation procedure (Experiment 2). Robust age related declines in recollection were observed, but there was no evidence that white matter damage was related to the observed memory declines. Although future studies with larger samples will be necessary to fully characterize the role of WMH in normal age-related declines in different types of memory, the results suggest that declines in recollection are not strongly related to the brain changes indexed by WMHs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)422-438
Number of pages17
JournalAging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2010


  • Aging
  • Familiarity
  • Recognition memory
  • Recollection
  • White matter

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Medicine(all)


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