Cognitive Neuroscience and NeuropsychologyItem and source memory: differential age effects revealed by event-related potentialsTrott, Charlotte T.1; Friedman, David1,4; Ritter, Walter2; Fabiani, Monica3Author Information 1Cognitive Electrophysiology Laboratory, New York State Psychiatric Institute, 722 West 168th Street, Unit 58; Annex Room 308, New York City, NY 10032 2Department of Neurosciences, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, University of Missouri, USA 3Department of Psychology, University of Missouri, USA 4Corresponding Author: David Friedman ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS: The research reported here was supported in part by NIA grant AG05213 (D.F.), and by the New York State Department of Mental Hygiene. We thank Charles L. Brown, III for computer programming and technical assistance, Eve Vaag and Rachel Yarmolinski for art work and photo reproduction, and all of the volunteers for generously giving their time. Website publication 3 October 1997 Received 24 July 1997; accepted 6 August 1997 NeuroReport: October 20th, 1997 - Volume 8 - Issue 15 - p 3373-3378 Buy Abstract THE neural substrates of age-related memory differences were evaluated by recording event-related potentials (ERPs) from young and older adults during a recognition memory paradigm. Subjects studied two temporally distinct lists of sentences (each with two nouns) and were tested for their memory of the nouns and of the list (i.e. temporal source) in which they had occurred. Compared with the young, the old showed a greater source than item memory performance decrement. Both age groups showed equivalent posterior-maximal old/new ERP effects. However, only the young produced a frontal-maximal, late onset old/new effect that differed as a function of subsequent source attribution. Age-related explicit memory differences may be due to a deficit in a prefrontal cortical system that underlies source memory. © Lippincott-Raven Publishers.