Age inequalities in recognition memory: Effects of stimulus presentation time and list repetitions

Tibor Palfai, Silas Halperin, William J. Hoyer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


It has been suggested that age-related slowing in the execution of mental operations in time-limited visual information processing tasks can affect subsequent memory performance. To investigate this proposal, recognition memory for Chinese symbols displayed in rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP) was assessed in 30 young adults and 33 older adults. The effects of presentation times (500, 1000, 2000, 2500, 3000, and 6000 ms) on target recognition were examined across six study-test trials for each participant. Recognition accuracy was higher for young adults than for older adults, especially at the shorter stimulus durations. Analysis of the time-accuracy functions describing the stimulus durations and amount of repetitions required to equate the performance of younger and older adults indicated that a limited-time mechanism provided an incomplete account for age-related differences in memory for rapidly presented information.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)134-140
Number of pages7
JournalAging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 1 2003


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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