Self-reference enhances relational memory in young and older adults

Mingzhu Hou, Matthew D. Grilli, Elizabeth L. Glisky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


The present study investigated the influence of self-reference on two kinds of relational memory, internal source memory and associative memory, in young and older adults. Participants encoded object–location word pairs using the strategies of imagination and sentence generation, either with reference to themselves or to a famous other (i.e., George Clooney or Oprah Winfrey). Both young and older adults showed memory benefits in the self-reference conditions compared to other-reference conditions on both tests, and the self-referential effects in older adults were not limited by low memory or executive functioning. These results suggest that self-reference can benefit relational memory in older adults relatively independently of basic memory and executive functions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)105-120
Number of pages16
JournalAging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2 2019


  • Self-reference
  • aging
  • associative memory
  • relational memory
  • source memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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