Lecture+12+Memory+and+Aging - Historical theory: Different...

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1 Historical theory: Different forms of intelligence Fluid/crystallized Fluid resembles Episodic memory/executive Crystallized is knowledge (semantic memory) Newer Concepts of Cognitive Aging Multiple types of cognitive function executive, episodic memory, semantic memory, visuospatial ability, working memory Different cognitive functions decline differently with advancing age Individuals differ considerably in age-related cognitive decline Many different factors are responsible
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2 Age is related to performance on most cognitive tests - least for word knowledge (semantic memory) Cross sectional data - 700 subjects - age vs performance (Wilson et al Psychol and Aging 2002) BUT there is great individual variation in age vs performance These are longitudinal data on rates of change for individual subjects
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3 Longitudinal Studies Longitudinal studies of cognitive function show age related variability Some subjects remain stable, some decline, some improve (why?) What is normal? Cogntive Function, in general, shows great variability with age Some people decline considerably, some slightly, some not at all Good correlation between performance on different tests: subjects who perform poorly on one test tend to perform poorly on all
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4 Slowing is a Feature of Aging Decline in most cognitive tasks that require speed Neuropsychological tests that are time-dependent are slowed Reaction times are slowed considerably with age This slowing may be an underlying mechanism for cognitive loss of a variety of types Do Any Cognitive Functions Improve with Age? Social expertise - asked to judge whether imaginary people are honest/dishonest, older people ignore irrelevant information and make more accurate judgements than younger Older people can perform better (often as good as young) when information has high relevance Vocabulary scores generally higher in old than young
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5 Memory in Aging
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Lecture+12+Memory+and+Aging - Historical theory: Different...

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