Chapter

Variation in Working Memory across the Life Span

Sandra Hale, Joel Myerson, Lisa J. Emery, Bonnie M. Lawrence and Carolyn Dufault

in Variation in Working Memory

Published in print March 2008 | ISBN: 9780195168648
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199847297 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195168648.003.0008
Variation in Working Memory across the Life Span

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This chapter focuses on how age differences might affect other aspects of cognitive function. With respect to working memory in particular, there seemed to be multiple ways in which it might be affected by changes in processing speed, as well as multiple ways in which working memory might affect higher-order cognitive processes such as reasoning. Changes in cognitive processing speed might precipitate a cascade in which increase or decrease in speed would lead to changes in working memory function. The methodology that was adopted for studying age differences in working memory was an elegant study of domain-specificity in the working memory function of young adults. The experimental paradigm seemed to provide an excellent tool for dissecting the effects of age-related changes in working memory. In addition to age and domain, processing speed is another important source of variation in working memory.

Keywords: age differences; cognitive function; cognitive processes; experimental paradigm; processing speed

Chapter.  16553 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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