The aim of this research was to examine age-related differences in young and older adults in route learning, using different types of learning and recall test modalities. A sample of young adults (20–30 years old) and older adults (60–70 years old) learned a city route by using either a map or a description; they then performed a verification (verbal task) and map drawing (visuo-spatial task) tests. Results showed that, in both age groups, the effect of the learning condition changed as a function of the recall task: only after map learning did participants perform better in map drawing than in sentence verification tasks (no differences between the two measures were found in the description condition). The type of learning modality also showed age differences, but was detected only in the map drawing task: after map learning (but not after description learning) older adults did perform like younger adults in map drawing. However, agerelated differences were mainly found in relation to type of recall task. In the verification test, older adults performed like younger ones in direct spatial sentences, but older adults underperformed in indirect sentences (in which test information was not explicitly presented). In map drawing, the two groups performed similarly in remembering and ordering landmarks, whereas older adults underperformed in positioning the landmarks correctly. These results suggest that recall tests are sensitive modalities in examining age-related differences, revealing which abilities are preserved (or otherwise) in mental route representations.

Age-differences in environment route learning: The role of input and recall-test modalities in young and older adults

Meneghetti C.;Borella E.;De Beni R.
2012

Abstract

The aim of this research was to examine age-related differences in young and older adults in route learning, using different types of learning and recall test modalities. A sample of young adults (20–30 years old) and older adults (60–70 years old) learned a city route by using either a map or a description; they then performed a verification (verbal task) and map drawing (visuo-spatial task) tests. Results showed that, in both age groups, the effect of the learning condition changed as a function of the recall task: only after map learning did participants perform better in map drawing than in sentence verification tasks (no differences between the two measures were found in the description condition). The type of learning modality also showed age differences, but was detected only in the map drawing task: after map learning (but not after description learning) older adults did perform like younger adults in map drawing. However, agerelated differences were mainly found in relation to type of recall task. In the verification test, older adults performed like younger ones in direct spatial sentences, but older adults underperformed in indirect sentences (in which test information was not explicitly presented). In map drawing, the two groups performed similarly in remembering and ordering landmarks, whereas older adults underperformed in positioning the landmarks correctly. These results suggest that recall tests are sensitive modalities in examining age-related differences, revealing which abilities are preserved (or otherwise) in mental route representations.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11577/2493921
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