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Young People Have ‘High Definition’ Memories

Update Date: Jan 15, 2014 11:43 AM EST

High definition video and audio might be obvious but researchers have found a new class of memory that they are terming ‘high definition’ too.

These high-definition memories are what makes the quality of memories in younger people better than those in adults, according to a new study. Elderly store information at a lower resolution than younger adults which subsequently results in impaired recollection.

According to researchers, younger adults are able to use so called ‘perceptual implicit memory’. It is a different kind of visual memory that gives youth a ‘boost’ when they are trying to recollect some stored information.

As a part of the study researchers considered two group of people. One involving 13 adults aged around 23 years and second group of 11 aged around 67 years. They asked them to memorize the sequence and colors of series of dots. Evidently, the younger group was better at memorizing the color of dots.

However, the electroencephalographic data showed that both groups were able to remember the same number of items.

“We don’t know why older adults perform poorly when their neural activity suggests their memory capacity is intact, but we have two leads,” said Dr. Philip Ko, the lead researcher on the study, according to TG Daily.

“First, further analysis of this current dataset and other studies from our laboratory suggest that older adults retrieve memories differently than younger adults. Second, there is emerging evidence from other labs suggesting that the quality of older adults’ memories is poorer than younger adults. In other words, while older adults might store the same number of items, their memory of each item is ‘fuzzier’ than that of younger adults.”

The findings are published in the journal Attention, Perception & Psychophysics, published by Springer.

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