Working Memory Across the Adult Lifespan

Denise C. Park and Doris Payer

in Lifespan Cognition

Published in print April 2006 | ISBN: 9780195169539
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199847204 | DOI:
Working Memory Across the Adult Lifespan

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This chapter examines changes in working memory in children and older adults. The construct of working memory has been central in the study of cognitive aging. The development of the construct of working memory was particularly important to theory development in cognitive aging, as it provided a way to measure the construct of processing resource and to determine whether age-related shrinkage in working memory capacity was the basis for decreased age-related performance on a range of cognitive tasks. This chapter focuses initially on different tasks used to measure working memory in laboratory and clinical settings. It then examines data on the lifespan trajectory of working-memory function. After this it looks at central questions about cognitive aging that can be addressed, if not resolved, through the study of working memory and interference effects associated with working memory. It also considers the neural correlates of working memory.

Keywords: working memory; children; older adults; lifespan; cognitive aging; cognitive tasks; interference effects; neural correlates

Chapter.  8769 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Cognitive Psychology

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