Super Ageing and… Super-Duper Ageing?

CHeBA Visiting Lecture Series presents Professor Roddy Roediger of Washington University in St. Louis, for his talk:

Super Ageing and… Super-Duper Ageing?

The presentation will be followed by a live Q&A session with Professor Roediger

Super ageing was originally defined as a condition of people over 80 (average, 83 years old) who performed as well as people 50 to 65 (average age of 61) on one memory test, the Rey Auditory Verbal Learning Test (RAVLT). Hearing about this phenomenon, and seeing the attention the concept aroused, reminded me of research that Mark McDaniel and I did in the mid-2000s when we had two grants to study false memories in older adults. In general, we showed that older adults show more errors in three false memories paradigms than do younger adults. However, in each case, a subgroup of older adults (the highest scorers on a battery of 5 tests purposed to measure frontal lobe functioning), show both veridical and false recall that is equal to that of younger adults in these same paradigms. Unfortunately, we made the mistake of following the standard in the literature and we called these “high frontal functioning older adults.” However, because we showed older adults (average age, 75) performed as well as college students (and presumably better than average 60 year olds), should we now label them super-duper agers?


Henry L. (Roddy) Roediger, III is the James S. McDonnell Distinguished University Professor at Washington University in St. Louis. He graduated with a BA in Psychology from Washington & Lee University (1969) and received his PhD from Yale University (1973) in cognitive psychology. Roediger’s research has centered on human learning and memory, and he has published over 350 articles and chapters on various aspects of cognitive processes involved in remembering. His recent research has focused on several areas: applying principles of cognitive psychology to improve learning in educational contexts, especially how testing (or retrieval practice) improves later retention; confidence-accuracy relations in eyewitness memory and in standard recognition memory; memory illusions or false memories; and collective memory, or how people remember events about groups to which they belong (e.g., national memories). He served as President of the Association of Psychological Science and several other associations of psychologists. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and the National Academy of Sciences. Roediger has received the Howard Crosby Warren Medal from the Society of Experimental Psychologists, the John P. McGovern Award from the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the William James Award from APS.

For more upcoming Visiting Lecture Series events as well as past presentations, CLICK HERE. 

Know someone who might be interested? Share this on social media