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PSY402_text slides_week7_attention and memoryFull notes.doc

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PSY 402
Lixia Yang

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PSY402/F2012/Week 7/YANG 1 PSY402: Adult Development Week 7, Fall 2012 Basic Cognitive Functions, Reading: Chapter 6 Outline  Cognition: Information processing  Attention o Attention and Aging? o Theories of Attention and Aging  Memory o Memory and Aging? o Moderators for Age Differences in Memory Cognition: The collection of mental processes used in processing information, including perceiving, remembering, and thinking.  Cognition: Information Processing Model  The General Slowing Hypothesis (Salthouse): The increase in reaction time in older adults reflects a general decline of information processing speed within the nervous system of the aging brain  Is it just about speed? o Pro: Age differences on many tasks are reduced when scores on speed tasks are controlled for. o Cons: Not clear whether age-related slowing is the CAUSE of other deficits (correlation ≠ causation) Sometimes older people are slower because they are responding more cautiously  Sensory Memory o The process that rapidly registers new incoming information. o A very brief and almost identical representation (or afterimage) of the stimuli.  Very short duration  Large capacity  No age differences  Information Processing Model: Attentional bottleneck  SENSORY STORE -> SELECTIVE FILTER -> DETECTOR -> LTM Cognition (I): Attention ATTENTION AND AGING  Selective Attention: The ability to selectively attend to important information while ignoring irrelevant information; Inhibition/interference tasks PSY402/F2012/Week 7/YANG 2  Selective Reading and Aging: Older adults’ reading times are more slowed down than young adults by the presence of distracting information (Connelly, Hasher, & Zacks, 1991).  Stroop Effect and Aging – Inhibitory attention task (must disassociate reading of the word from naming of the colour): The Stroop interference effect: Older (green) > Young (purple)  Selective Attention and Aging o Older adults tend to perform worse on selective attention tasks o Larger interference effect for older than for young adults in selective reading and Stroop task  Divided Attention: The ability to successfully perform more than one task or attend to multiple stimuli at the same time: Dual-Task Paradigm  Divided Attention and Aging o Older adults tend to show greater divided attention costs, Especially for difficult tasks o Practice and experience can decrease age differences in divided attention  Sustained Attention (Vigilance): The ability to sustain attention on a task for long periods of time. (e.g., air traffic controller); Sustained Attention Test  Sustained Attention and Aging o Older adults tend to show deficits in vigilance performance (miss more targets or taking longer time to detect targets). o But not in vigilance decrement: Drop in performance over time THEORIES OF ATTENTION AND AGING  Attentional Resources Theory (Craik) o Aging reduces available cognitive resources. o Attention as a process reflecting the allocation of cognitive resources. o As cognitive load increases, performance decreases  Inhibitory Deficit Hypothesis (Hahser and Zacks) o Aging reduces ability to tune out irrelevant information o Older adults are less effective at inhibiting irrelevant information. o More “mental clutter”  Context Processing Deficiency (Braver et al). o Aging reduces the ability to take context into account o Example: older adults are less efficient in using the context of information processing in sustained attention tasks o Older adults have difficulty balancing remembering task instructions with performance of the task PSY402/F2012/Week 7/YANG 3 Summary: Attention and Aging  Attention and Aging o Selective: Inhibition tasks - STROOP (larger interference) o Divided: DUAL-TASK PARADIGM (larger cost) o Sustained: decline in vigilance performance, but not in vigilance decrement  Explanations for age differences in attention o Attentional resources o Inhibitory deficit o Context processing deficiency Cognition (II): Memory  MEMORY: Information-Processing Approach o Memory: ability to retain or store information and retrieve it when needed. o Memory System: a complex, dynamic system of processes and storehouses  Memory Processes: 3-step filling system  Encoding: the process of getting information into the memory system o Intentional encoding declines, whereas incidental encoding does not change with aging.  Storage: the manner in which information is represented and kept in memory o Little empirical evidence for age differences in how information is organized and stored. o Older adults do suffer from increased “storage failures”, like vague memory trace.  Retrieval: getting information back out of memory o Recall and recognition o Age-related decrement is larger in recall than in recognition (Craik & McDowd, 1987).  Summary: Age Differences in Memory Processes o Older adults are less effective than younger adults in encoding and retrieval. o Intentional, but not incidental encoding, declines with aging. o Possibly increased storage failures with aging o Larger decline in recall than in recognition with aging  MEMORY STOREHOUSES: STM  Short-Term Memory: Capacity o STM has limited capacity: 5 - 9 items (Miller, 1956) o Chunking: The process of organizing items into meaningful groups  Memory Storehouses: STM o Short Duration o Limited Capacity PSY402/F2012/Week 7/YANG 4 o Primary Memory (holding) o Working Memory (processing + holding)  Working Memory (WM) o Holding information in STM while carrying out other mental activities o Limited-capacity system for simultaneous storage and manipulation of information (Baddeley, 2000)  Working Memory Model (Baddeley & Hitch, 1974)  PHONOLOGICAL LOOP (ARTICULATORY PROCESSES+PHONOLOGICAL STORE) + VISUOSPATIAL SCRATCH PAD + EPISODIC BUFFER + CENTRAL EXECUTIVE  How Does Aging Affect STM/WM? o STM/Storage: Primary Memory (e.g., digit span): small or no age differences; o WM = Storage + Manipulation (e.g., operation span): Significant age-related decline; Recognition much better than recall  MEMORY STOREHOUSES: LTM o Inactive o Unlimited duration o Unlimited capacity  Non-Declarative (implicit) memory: o Procedural memory (skills a
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