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Giampaolo Moraglia

Thursday January 31, 2013 LEC 4: MEMORY AND AGING MEMORY CAN BE CATEGORIZED IN SEVERAL DIFFERENT WAYS  Storehouses —Sensory Memory —Short-term Memory —Long-term Memory  Declarative vs. non declarative  Implicit vs. explicit  Retrospective vs. prospective  Processing Operations —Encoding —Storage —Retention AGE RELATED CHANGES  Sensory memory holds up well  Short-term memory —Passive STM little affected —Working memory declines appreciably  Long-term memory —Explicit LTM is much less affected than explicit LTM —Non-declarative (procedural) LTM holds up well —Declarative LTM variously affected (next) Explicit memory is most explicit are declarative Implicit memories are mostly non declarative Research suggests that LTM of the non-declarative procedural type hold up well with age Study: >500 adults and tested on ability to learn simple motor task 9sliding finger off a rod as quickly as possible and rate of speed at which they improved) found that older adults saw sign. Improvement and retained memory of this task for as long as 2 yrs with no drop off performance -This type of task to learn how to do certain things remains in young and adult -Procedural memory; when learned to do well and efficiently is preserved -Can also use this efficient to compensate for other use of strategies to bypass difficulties that would occur trying to bypass other types of memory Because procedural memory is part of implicit memory -Tested on memory performance Thursday January 31, 2013 DECLARATIVE LTM  Semantic variety holds up well with age with minor declines after age 65  Episodic variety declines appreciably with age —Episodic memory changes occur at  Encoding  Retention  Retrieval -Key distinction has been made btw episodic memory (personal memory tied to a particular time and place) vs. semantic memory (knowledge of general facts) -Doesn’t require recollection of time and place (semantic) -Just as explicit and implicit distinction episodic and sem. Are effected diff. through aging -Age 35-80: tested on 2 occasion over 5 yr period  Episodic memory: recall self preformed action or what someone else did in a particular setting Semantic: word fluency --Episodic memory stayed fairly stable toward 35-60 on AVG and then begins to fall off Semantic memory performance increased btw the ages of 35-55 (keep on learning; sport of general knowledge increases) and then levels off and begins to decline following age 65much less pronounced than is with episodic memory -This difference is robust because it applies to explicit type of memories as well as implicit -Semantic Memory; episodic can be impaired with advancing age -Episodic Memory is worth taking a closer look at what goes wrong when it changes Episodic memory has depended on certain factors 1. Encoding 2. Retention storing process 3. Retrieval; accessed from memory EPISODIC MEMORY, CONT’ND  Encoding —Incidental encoding remains quite efficient —Intentional encoding significantly affected by age  Retention (Storage) —A somewhat obscure picture —Generally, age differences tend to increase with length of retention intervals —…But the effect is small and the specific length of the retention intervals producing these small effects is still uncertain Thursday January 31, 2013  Retrieval efficiency declines appreciable with age, and it may be a major factor in overall memory deficit. Extent of the decline varies depending upon availability of cues at retrieval: It increases as the availability of retrieval cues is reduced. This suggests that older adults have difficulty with tasks requiring a high degree of self- initiated operations -One distinction made in this context: incidental and intention coding -Size of age related differences is the same when encoding incidentally (learn something without knowing you will have to report about it; Not expecting to be tested) or intentionally learning (encode info with the knowledge you will be tested on it) -Meta-analytical studies found that intentional Presented with lists of surnames; expected to recall these names later on -Can encode info incidentally -Older adults do not spontaneously use other tech. for retrieval -When we learn unintentionally without a mind -Young people use encoding strategies are not put to use by older people Retention/Storage/Maintenance -Encoding the diff. btw age relating changes in incidental -Data does not point in a clear direction -Meta-analysis: immediate and delayed memory measures Implicit: present you with list of words and implicitly recollect as much as you can Delayed: 2 hrs later asked to remember Age differences was about the same on implicit and delayed memory measures Whatever differences existed btw young and old remained roughly the same These results applies to test of list of words; paired associate recall -Presented to read a story, and tested on it later days Found that age differences were sig. larger 1-10 minutes after the presentation of the text, compared to both implicit and delayed testing (10min); to the extent that generalization is applicable then this point is true However the fact is quite small…. Don’t know enough about this business is the bottom line Age related diff. in recall; delayed for certain types of test do not seem to change much for even complex test… Whole picture is not linear, the longer the testing interval the greater the difference -Study: tested over drawing… This particular study showed no particular age differences until 48 hours Rate of forgetting became greater Duration and material being employed matters as well Thursday January 31, 2013 As for retrieval, when talking about explicit memory tasks (cautious effort at recalling), it appears that processed involved in recalling is as important as encoding info The degree at which providing recalling cues Free recall (jot down as much as you remember and no cues are provided on recall; depending on yourself solely) Cued recall: ex. Presented with a list of words and at time of recollection and given a cue and reminder that some words had to do with fish etc. that help you try and recollect information Then the testing that would get maximum cues is the recognition task (answers are available in the questions; MC test) -The nature of memory -Age related in memory depends on cues available at retrieval -If you administer that is free recall, cued, then recognition and see improvement rates…gives you a sense of how well you can exploit these cues at recall Meta-analysis: found that larger age differences occur in free and cued recall then it was the case for recognition tests Differences were greater btw young and old in free and cued recall tests -Meta-analysis: showed that age diff were much smaller in recognition than in other Recall: write down all surnames they remembered Recognition: asked if appeared or not No sig. differences in the case of recognition -To the extent we can make a general statement: Ability to retain recall info declines with age -Inability to access details of an episode is larger with older adults -Whatever retrieval diff. are manifested in these test, can be factors in other parts of memory and effect overall memory performance EPISODIC MEMORY, CONT’ND  Memory for context and source, source of EM quite affected  Memory for content of EM holds up reasonably well  Memory loss for individual items is much less severe than for associative information  This age related associative deficit is important in explaining overall aspects memory decline Aspects of age related episodic memory change -Memory for the content and source of the memory -Defining characteristic of an episodic memory is tied to a place Use contextual aspects of the episode such as the time, as well as the place In order to retrieve the relative info about the people you remembered you must remember the context Thursday January 31, 2013 To remember content must retrieve context -Older adults have poor memory for contextual elements Including the source of presented information (ex. Voice the delivered information) Up to 50 studies found large related differences for context and content -Older and younger adults heard a sentence and simultaneously the written Older adults were just as able to pick young and old sentence Less able compared to young people to identify the speaker (4 speakers available) of the sentence Although older can remember the content, they are impaired to identify the source Age related contextual deficit may explain many aspects of declining memory that older adults experience Contextual details can serve as retrieval cues when the info needs to be recalled The more cues you have the better ability you have to remember Ability to recollect the content can be aided if you are also able to recall the contextual aspects of that memory -Another difference is memory for individual items as opposed to associated items -Item memory and associative memory Item info: ability to remember a single word or remembering a certain voice that you’ve heard before Associative info: binding together of 2 or more items; combining a name to a face/combining an item to a context/binding of various aspects of memory Age deficits are much larger for associative info than when tested for item Differences in binding, age related associative deficits can overall, explain age differences in age Associative info: generally across most memory tasks your ability to recall item than in ass info, older adults perform worse than younger adults We lose our ability to remember and associate items The more depending the task gets to recall, the harder the task is In the case of episodic memory, people remember semantic better because it is much less tied to a time and a place ES AS AUTOBIOGRAPHICAL MEMORY  Regardless of age, in general, people tend to remember recent events better than earlier events (surprise, surprise…)  However, memory for events occurring between the ages of 10 and 30 is higher than for other periods (‘reminiscence bump’)  The RB has been attributed to privileged encoding of experiences highly relevant to each person during a critical phases of development Thursday January 31, 2013 …Is a type of episodic memory. -Can try to assess it by asking people of different ages to recall events of their past In most cases you cannot verify these memories -Serious issue in assessing episodic memory through autobiographical memory -More then worthwhile studying it -If you compare memory of equivalent significance, regardless of age:  You will tend to remember t
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