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Flashcards in Aging and Memory Deck (20):

How is memory affected by aging overall? Where do greatest declines occur?

Certain aspects of memory are affected by normal aging and others remain relatively intact; greatest decline in long-term (secondary) memory (first), most likely d/t insufficient encoding; declines also seen in working memory (next), prospective memory, and explicit memory


At what age does the brain start to shrink as results of loss of neurons? At what age does an acceleration of brain atrophy occur?

Starts to shrink at age 30 and acceleration of atrophy at age 60


What brain areas seem to be affected most by loss of neurons as we age?

Hippocampus, cortex, locus cereleus


What other brain changes take place as we age?

Development of senile plaques and enlarged ventricles; reduced blood flow; decreases in some neurotransmitters


How is it believed that brain compensates for neuron loss?

By creating new connections between remaining neurons


What did Barinaga find with regard to development of hippocampus in adult years?

Development of new brain cells!


What kind of memory is relatively unaffected by age?

Remote long-term memory


Is memory training helpful for older adults?

Yes, Lachman found that it can be helpful if they are taught to develop their own memory strategies and if it fosters a positive attitude about their potential to improve


Short-term memory is divided into which 2 types of memory?

Primary memory and working memory; primary = ability to retain small amount of info in conscious memory for short period of time; working = capacity to manipulate and transform info while it is held in primary memory


Do older adults differ from younger ones in terms of primary and working memory?

No difference in terms of primary memory; however, some decline in working memory (more likely d/t loss of processing speed than reduced storage capacity) found


Long-term memory is divided into which 2 types of memory?

Recent and remote memory


How are recent & remote memory affected by aging?

Little effect on remote memory; however, substantial impairments in recent (secondary) memory


What is it believed that age-related deficits in recent long-term memory are related to?

Ineffective encoding; several studies have shown that training in encoding strategies is even more useful for older adults than younger ones


Is memory training useful for older adults experiencing Alzheimer's dementia or other brain pathologies?

No, only for older adults experiencing normal age-related cognitive decline


What are the various aspects of long-term memory?

Episodic vs. semantic vs. procedural
Verbal vs. nonverbal
Prospective memory
Explicit vs. implicit


Episodic vs. semantic vs. procedural memory

Increasing age has greatest effect on episodic memory (ability to recall personal experiences), most likely due to problems w/deliberate processing & retrieval (explains why older people have more trouble when episodic memory tested using recall as opposed to recognition)


Verbal vs. nonverbal memory

Age-related declines in visuospatial memory mirror those found in verbal memory


Prospective memory

Older adults do less well than younger ones on prospective memory tasks; however, these are much more likely to be observed on time-based tasks that require responses at regular intervals as opposed to event-based tasks the require response to future cue


Explicit vs. implicit memory

Older adults show deficits in explicit memory but don't usually have problems with implicit memory



Older adults less accurate than younger ones in estimating their memory but nature of inaccuracy depends on situation; more specifically, older people tend to underestimate their memory efficiency when talking about their memory in general and overestimate it when making predictions about performance on a particular task