Episodic intertrial learning of younger and older adults: Effects of word frequency.
Summary of "Episodic intertrial learning of younger and older adults: Effects of word frequency."
ABSTRACT Older adults have a demonstrable episodic memory deficit. The present study aimed to investigate whether the age deficit in episodic memory was influenced by stimulus characteristics known to produce differences in memory performance in younger adults, specifically word frequency. An intertrial paradigm was used whereby participants studied high- or low-frequency lists over several study-test trials, and the loss and gain of individual items was measured across trials; putative measures of consolidation and encoding. The results show that high-frequency words are recalled significantly better than low-frequency words. Older adults acquired high-frequency words at a greater rate across trials than they did for low-frequency words, an effect not evident in the younger adults. Older adults were found to have deficits in both encoding and consolidation as measured by losses and gains of items across trials. The results support the inter-item association theory of the word frequency effect on recall, with the age differences suggesting that memory deficits are sensitive to stimuli characteristics - one interpretation being that the ease of processing of the stimuli at encoding facilitates later recall.
a Leeds Memory Group, Institute of Psychological Sciences, University of Leeds , Leeds , UK.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Neuropsychology, development, and cognition. Section B, Aging, neuropsychology and cognition
- PubMed Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22574638
- DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/13825585.2012.679914
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