The Effect of Visual Context on Episodic Object Recognition: Age-Related Changes and Neural Correlates
AuthorHayes, Scott Michael
AdvisorRyan, T. Lee
Committee ChairRyan, T. Lee
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractPrevious research has investigated intentional retrieval of contextual information and contextual influences on object identification and word recognition, yet few studies have systematically investigated context effects in episodic memory for objects. To address this issue, unique objects on a white background or embedded in a visually rich context were presented to participants. At test, the object was presented either in the original or a different context. Chapter 2 demonstrated that a context shift decrement (CSD)--decreased recognition performance when context is changed between encoding and retrieval--was observed. In four studies with young adults, the CSD was not attenuated by encoding or retrieval manipulations. Chapter 3 revealed that the CSD was resistant to aging and neuropsychological status. Importantly, older adults classified as high MTL performed better on the recognition task than those classified as low MTL, and as well as young adults, supporting the successful aging hypothesis. Chapter 4 focused on elucidating the neural correlates of the CSD using functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging. Right PHG activation during encoding was associated with subsequent recognition of objects in the context change condition. This same region was activated during recognition, suggesting it may automatically reinstate visual contextual information. Overall, the CSD is attributed to the automatic and obligatory binding of object and context information in episodic memory that results in an integrated representation, mediated by the hippocampal complex.