Differential age effects in semantic and episodic memory

Philip A. Allen, Martin Sliwinski, Tanara Bowie, David J. Madden

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

35 Scopus citations


Results from 4 experimental tasks and 8 data sets (the 4 tasks involved either multiple sessions or different stimuli) as well as a vocabulary test conducted on the same 80 participants (40 younger and 40 older adults) are reported. The authors employed 2 semantic memory tasks (lexical decision and multiplication verification) using data from 2 sessions (for a total of 4 semantic data sets) and 2 episodic memory tasks (hybrid visual search and memory search with digits and with words as stimuli). Factor analyses using slope and intercept data from the 8 experimental data sets indicated the presence of 3 latent factors: a single intercept factor for both episodic and semantic tasks and separate slope factors for episodic and semantic tasks. A structural equation model with paths from age to 3 different lst-order latent factors (episodic central processes, semantic central processes, and combined episodic and semantic peripheral processes) fit better than general factor models. These data are consistent with a theoretical framework in which there are age-related dissociations between peripheral and central processes across semantic and episodic memory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)P173-P186
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2002

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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