Age effects on recollection and automaticity in a fully immersive virtual reality environment

Alexandra Voinescu, Daniel David

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (SciVal)


Previous studies that focused on the dual-memory processes in cognitive aging have shown a strong decline of recollection and, to a lesser extent, of automaticity. The current study is the first to investigate the dual memory processes among older and younger healthy adults in a highly immersive virtual reality (VR) environment and to evaluate if automaticity is age invariant. We expected reduced recollection for older adults compared to younger adults and similar performance between the two groups on automaticity. Twelve older adults (M = 66.00) and 26 younger adults (M = 24.15) participated. Our predictions were supported by the results. Two Mann-Whitney U Tests with recollection and automaticity as dependent variables showed that younger adults outperformed the older adults on recollection estimates, but no significant differences between the two groups emerged for automaticity. We demonstrated that, in an immersive environment, older participants had poorer recollection compared to younger adults, probably because controlled memory process are affected by ageing. For automaticity, we found no differences in performance between healthy adults and older adults. Our findings are consistent with most studies and suggest no age effect on automaticity, as automatic processes are age invariant.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)111-115
Number of pages5
JournalAnnual Review of CyberTherapy and Telemedicine
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2020


  • Automaticity
  • Ecological validity
  • Memory
  • Process dissociation procedure
  • Recollection
  • virtual reality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science (miscellaneous)
  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Rehabilitation
  • Psychology (miscellaneous)


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