Effects of perceptual similarity but not semantic association on false recognition in aging

Kayleigh Burnside, Caroline Hope, Emma Gill, Alexa M. Morcom*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study investigated semantic and perceptual influences on false recognition in older and young adults in a variant on the Deese-Roediger-McDermott paradigm. In two experiments, participants encoded intermixed sets of semantically associated words, and sets of unrelated words. Each set was presented in a shared distinctive font. Older adults were no more likely to falsely recognize semantically associated lure words compared to unrelated lures also presented in studied fonts. However, they showed an increase in false recognition of lures which were related to studied items only by a shared font. This increased false recognition was associated with recollective experience. The data show that older adults do not always rely more on prior knowledge in episodic memory tasks. They converge with other findings suggesting that older adults may also be more prone to perceptually-driven errors.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere4184
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 22 Dec 2017


  • aging
  • cognitive aging
  • DRM
  • episodic memory
  • false memory
  • false recollection
  • perceptual false memory
  • recognition memory
  • semantic false memory


Dive into the research topics of 'Effects of perceptual similarity but not semantic association on false recognition in aging'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this