Life-narrative and word-cued autobiographical memories in centenarians: comparisons with 80-year-old control, depressed, and dementia groups.
Centenarians provided autobiographical memories to either a request for a life narrative or a request to produce autobiographical memories to cue words. Both methods produced distributions with childhood-amnesia, reminiscence-bump, and recency components. The life-narrative method produced relatively more bump memories at the expense of recent memories. The life-narrative distributions were similar to those obtained from 80-year-old adults without clinical symptoms and from 80-year-old Alzheimer's dementia and depression patients, except that the centenarians had an additional 20-year period of relatively low recall between the bump and recency components. The centenarians produced more emotionally neutral memories than the other three groups and produced fewer and less detailed memories than the non-clinical 80-year-old sample.