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Biased recognition of positive faces in aging and amnestic mild cognitive impairment
Stockholm University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI).
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2010 (English)In: Psychology and Aging, ISSN 0882-7974, E-ISSN 1939-1498, Vol. 25, no 1, 1-15 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

We investigated age differences in biased recognition of happy, neutral, or angry faces in 4 experiments. Experiment 1 revealed increased true and false recognition for happy faces in older adults, which persisted even when changing each face’s emotional expression from study to test in Experiment 2. In Experiment 3, we examined the influence of reduced memory capacity on the positivity-induced recognition bias, which showed the absence of emotion-induced memory enhancement but a preserved recognition bias for positive faces in patients with amnestic mild cognitive impairment compared with older adults with normal memory performance. In Experiment 4, we used semantic differentials to measure the connotations of happy and angry faces. Younger and older participants regarded happy faces as more familiar than angry faces, but the older group showed a larger recognition bias for happy faces. This finding indicates that older adults use a gist-based memory strategy based on a semantic association between positive emotion and familiarity. Moreover, older adults’ judgments of valence were more positive for both angry and happy faces, supporting the hypothesis of socioemotional selectivity. We propose that the positivity-induced recognition bias might be based on fluency, which in turn is based on both positivity-oriented emotional goals and on preexisting semantic associations.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Washington: American Psychological Association (APA), 2010. Vol. 25, no 1, 1-15 p.
Keyword [en]
MCI, emotion, facial expression, false recognition, gist-based memory, amnestic mild cognitive impairment, aging
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URN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-54117DOI: 10.1037/a0018358OAI: diva2:391991

This research was supported by German Academic Science Program, Humboldt University of Berlin Grant N-19/04 to Katja Werheid.

Available from: 2011-01-25 Created: 2011-01-25 Last updated: 2014-11-26Bibliographically approved

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Fischer, HåkanAlmkvist, Ove
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Aging Research Center (ARC), (together with KI)Department of Psychology
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