Colloquia - "Lifestyle, sociodemographic, and psychosocial factors contributing to episodic memory across adulthood”

Audrey Duarte, Ph.D. Department of Psychology - University of Texas at Austin

Abstract:  One of the most common and arguably most distressing cognitive declines in aging, in large part because it is also an early sign of Alzheimer’s disease, is in episodic memory. As people age, they  report more everyday episodic memory difficulties in, for example, remembering someone’s name or the location of a placed item. However, there are substantial inter-individual differences in the extent of memory impairment and related changes in underlying neural integrity with some people aging better than others. Little is known about the factors that contribute to these individual differences in part because they are often presumed to reflect noise and ignored or disregarded as nuisance covariates. In my lab, we employ a multimodal approach to understand these individual difference factors using behavior, fMRI, EEG, neuropsychology, univariate, and multivariate analyses. I will present data showing how factors like sleep quality, mood, and psychosocial factors related to race/ethnicity contribute to this inter-individual variability across the adult lifespan.

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