Disentangling older adults´ difficulties in person memory neurophysiological studies on face and name processing
Complaints about difficulties in person perception and memory are very common among older adults, and the ability to learn and recognize faces and names is known to decline with increasing age. However, it is not clear at present to what degree these deficits result from less efficient processing at early perceptual, representational, or episodic memory-related stages. In this thesis five experiments are presented, which aimed at investigating this issue by analyzing event-related brain potential correlates of person perception and memory. Overall, the results indicate that early perceptual face processing (as reflected in the N170) is relatively less affected by aging than later representational and memory-related stages (as reflected in N250, N400, and episodic old/new effects).