What happens to our memories as we age?

Published by  News archive

On 21st Jan 2022

A cut-out of a head and brain held in two hands

Researchers in UEA's School of Psychology are launching a new project investigating how our memories change as we age.


They will study autobiographical memory in young and old people, as well as how differences in genetics or in brain anatomy can influence how we remember the past.

And they are looking for 160 young and older adults in Norfolk to take part in a variety of studies that will make up the wider project.

Lead researcher Dr Louis Renoult, from UEA’s School of Psychology, said: “We want to find out how memory is modified as we age, and what factors influence how people remember the past.

“The project will involve a number of studies including looking at people’s genetics and whether they carry the APOE gene which is associated with an increased risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

“We will also carry out MRI brain imaging at our state-of-the-art Brain Imaging Centre on campus, as well as recording people’s brain activity while they carry out computer tasks, by placing small sensors on the scalp.

“Another element to the project involves being asked to complete a series of tasks which measure comprehension, language and memory. And we will also be interviewing participants about events in their childhood, adulthood and from recent years.”

The team are looking for participants aged between 18 and 35, or over 60, who are right-handed, English native speakers and who have no diagnosed psychiatric or neurological conditions.  

Participants may be invited to participate in one or multiple studies as part of the broader project and will be compensated for their time.

Dr Renoult said: “We’ll contact interested participants with full details of each study when they are due to begin, and you can decide if you wish to take part at that time. But ideally we’re looking for participants who are interested in taking part in several of the studies.”

To find out more, or volunteer to take part, contact the Memory and Ageing lab at memoryandageing@uea.ac.uk

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