AAMC Section Bank P/S #17, #18

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AAMC Section Bank P/S #17, #18

Post by dtufano » Sun Mar 10, 2019 6:00 pm

For #17, I went for A originally because I knew semantic memory generally improves with age, and I believe I understand why this is wrong but I want to check. With A, is the idea that actually FORMING new declarative/semantic memories declines with age, but being able to REMEMBER semantic information improves? Also, when you say "free recall" declines with age, what exactly does this mean, since semantic memory improves?

For #18, I could be completely wrong, but the kind of memory I'm thinking of in this passage is episodic memory, which declines with age. So why is it surprising that adults remember information better from when they were younger verses older, if this kind of memory does generally decline with age?
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Re: AAMC Section Bank P/S #17, #18

Post by NS_Tutor_Will » Mon Mar 11, 2019 8:35 am

Thanks for the questions!

For Q17, your reasoning is pretty much spot on. Declarative memory is also a bit broad (we can break it down into episodic and semantic memory). It's crystallized intelligence that doesn't decline, so aging wouldn't impact your ability to remember general info, while it would interfere with your episodic memory. With regard to free recall, I think it's more about recalling specific things that have been encoded more recently. So free recall of semantic information may not be too affected, but free recall about what one had for breakfast, or when their appointment is, etc. would decline.

For Q18, the question is asking you to explain why this finding (that there is a reminiscence bump) is atypical. Your question shows you understand that it is atypical: the person is showing enhanced memory when we would expect a generally diminishing memory. The reminiscence bump isn't the idea that young people remember better than old people; instead it's the idea that older people have more memories of their younger days as they age.

I hope this is helpful!
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