Guest Lecture of Dr. Christine Bastin

Guest Lecture of Dr. Christine Bastin


From University of Liège


Date: 9th July 2014, 18h c.t.


Venue: Building A2 4, Room 2.16


Topic: Recollection and familiarity in normal and pathological aging.



As individuals age, they present with an increasing difficulty to remember personally experienced events in all their richness. Moreover, episodic memory difficulties constitute the hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease and are observed at the earliest stage of the disease, when patients are diagnosed with Mild Cognitive Impairment. The talk will present a series of studies conducted at the University of Liège and that had two aims: to distinguish the effects of aging and dementia on recollection and familiarity processes during episodic memory tasks and to relate episodic memory functioning to cerebral changes in early Alzheimer’s disease. These studies have shown that there is an age-related decline of recollection, but that the preservation of familiarity allows older adults to perform as well as young adults in certain conditions (such as when new associations are unitized at encoding). In Alzheimer’s disease, recollection is severely impaired. The status of familiarity is however less clear, with divergent findings showing either a normal contribution of familiarity to performance or impaired performance in a familiarity-based memory task. Finally, studies examining the neural bases of the episodic memory deficit in Alzheimer’s disease and Mild Cognitive Impairment emphasized the role of a large-scale cerebral network in the production of richly detailed episodic memories.