This study shows that relative to younger adults, older adults are more adversely influenced by similar items when judging a memory's source, and the phenomenal features of their correctly and incorrectly attributed memories have greater overlap. The authors argue in accordance with the source monitoring framework that this age-related impairment in source accuracy is related to processes involved in binding features into complex memories and those involved in accessing and evaluating contextual features of memories. These processes are linked to medial temporal and frontal brain regions, respectively, as evidenced by correlations in older adults between source accuracy and neuropsychological tests often used to assess medial temporal and frontal function. The results suggest that adequate feature binding is particularly important when items from different sources share similar features and access-evaluation processes are particularly important after a delay.
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/linda_henkel/7/