This study investigated the active component of visuo-spatial working memory (VSWM) in younger and older adults testing the hypotheses that elderly individuals have a poorer performance than younger ones and that errors in active VSWM tasks depend, at least partially, on difficulties in avoiding intrusions (i.e., avoiding already activated information). In two experiments, participants were presented with sequences of matrices on which three positions were pointed out sequentially: their task was to process all the positions but indicate only the final position of each sequence. Results showed a poorer performance in the elderly compared to the younger group and a higher number of intrusion (errors due to activated but irrelevant positions) rather than invention (errors consisting of pointing out a position never indicated by the experiementer) errors. The number of errors increased when a concurrent task was introduced (Experiment 1) and it was affected by different patterns of matrices (Experiment 2). In general, results show that elderly people have an impaired VSWM and produce a large number of errors due to inhibition failures. However, both the younger and the older adults' visuo-spatial working memory was affected by the presence of activated irrelevant information, the reduction of the available resources, and task constraints.

Aging and the Intrusion Superiority Effect in Visuo-Spatial Working Memory

CORNOLDI, CESARE;MAMMARELLA, NICOLA
2007

Abstract

This study investigated the active component of visuo-spatial working memory (VSWM) in younger and older adults testing the hypotheses that elderly individuals have a poorer performance than younger ones and that errors in active VSWM tasks depend, at least partially, on difficulties in avoiding intrusions (i.e., avoiding already activated information). In two experiments, participants were presented with sequences of matrices on which three positions were pointed out sequentially: their task was to process all the positions but indicate only the final position of each sequence. Results showed a poorer performance in the elderly compared to the younger group and a higher number of intrusion (errors due to activated but irrelevant positions) rather than invention (errors consisting of pointing out a position never indicated by the experiementer) errors. The number of errors increased when a concurrent task was introduced (Experiment 1) and it was affected by different patterns of matrices (Experiment 2). In general, results show that elderly people have an impaired VSWM and produce a large number of errors due to inhibition failures. However, both the younger and the older adults' visuo-spatial working memory was affected by the presence of activated irrelevant information, the reduction of the available resources, and task constraints.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/2484865
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