Previous studies demonstrating age-related impairments in recognition memory for faces are suggestive of underlying differences in face processing. To study these differences, we monitored eye movements while younger and older adults viewed younger and older faces. Compared to the younger group, older adults showed increased sampling of facial features, and more transitions. However, their scanning behavior was most similar to the younger group when looking at older faces. Moreover, while older adults exhibited worse recognition memory than younger adults overall, their memory was more accurate for older faces. These findings suggest that age-related differences in recognition memory for faces may be related to changes in scanning behavior, and that older adults may use social group status as a compensatory processing strategy.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Geriatrics and Gerontology
- Psychiatry and Mental health