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6 HUS 133 Attention and Memory

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  • 1. Chapt er S ixAttention and Memory 1 of 32
  • 2. The Information Processing Model Learning Objectives  What are the primary aspects of the information-processing model?  What are the areas where we observe differential age changes in attention and memory? 2 of 32
  • 3. The Information Processing Model Information-processing approach  Uses a computer metaphor to explain how people process stimuli  The information-processing approach is based on three assumptions: 1. People are active participants in the process. 2. Both quantitative (how much) and qualitative (what kind) aspects of performance can be examined. 3. Information is processed through a series of hypothetical stages or stores. 3 of 32
  • 4. The Information Processing ModelThree fundamental questions: 1. Which areas show evidence of age differences in the aspects of processing?  Early stages (attention)  Secondary memory  Long term memory 2. How can we explain variability when we find age differences in information processing? 3. What are the practical implications of age-related changes in information processing? 4 of 32
  • 5. The Information Processing Model Attentional and Perceptual Processing  Sensory memory  Where new, incoming information is first registered  Large amounts of information very rapidly  Memory details are dependent on how much attention is given to the stimuli.  If attention is given, then the info is passed to the next stage of memory.  Age differences are not typically found at this stage; however, they do begin to appear when attentional processes are applied to sensory memory. (ability to direct & sustain attention, and the speed at which information is processed) 5 of 32
  • 6. Attentional ControlLearning Objectives What is processing speed? What age differences are found? What are the processing resources that underlie information processing? What is inhibition loss? When are age differences found? What are attentional resources? Under what conditions are age differences observed? How do automatic and effortful processes differ? In what situations are age differences present? 6 of 32
  • 7. Attentional ControlSpeed of Processing How quickly and efficiently these early steps in information processing are completed  Slowing of processing is task-specific.Processing Resources The amount of attention one has to apply to a particular situation  There have been a number of alternative ways of examining a process resource hypothesis.  Two of those are:  Inhibitory loss  Attentional loss 7 of 32
  • 8. Attentional ControlInhibitory loss Theory: Older persons have task-irrelevant thoughts that interfere with processing. Other research shows inhibition is not universal across all aspects of stimulation. Certain strategies can compensate for irrelevant information interference. Is there a purpose for older persons attending to irrelevant information? (increased problem solving skills) 8 of 32
  • 9. Attentional ControlAttentional Resources Divided attention (how much info can be processed at any given time) Older person are more penalized when they must divide their attention and find it more difficult to multitask.  Writing while listening  Conversing while driving Extensive practice can minimize the poor performance on multitasking. Older adults use strategies to compensate for inability to multitask. (most important tasks first) 9 of 32
  • 10. Memory ProcessesLearning Objectives What is working memory? What age differences have been found in working memory? How does implicit and explicit memory differ across age? How does episodic and semantic memory performance differ across age? What age differences have been found in the autobiographical aspects of episodic memory? 10 of 32
  • 11. Memory ProcessesWorking Memory The active processes and structures involved in holding information in mind Simultaneously using that information, sometimes in conjunction with incoming information to:  Solve a problem  Make a decision  Learn new information 11 of 32
  • 12. Memory ProcessesImplicit versus Explicit Memory Explicit memory (declarative)  Intentional and conscious remembering of information that is learned at a specific point in time  An example is remembering who wrote the Gettysburg address. Implicit memory (procedural memory)  Retrieval of information without conscious or intentional recollection  An example is a language task such as stem completion.  Smaller age differences that explicit memory 12 of 32
  • 13. Memory ProcessesLong Term Memory The ability to remember extensive amounts of information from a few seconds, hours, or decades. Semantic Memory  Learning and remembering the meaning of words and concepts that are not tied to specific occurrences of events in time Episodic Memory  Conscious recollection of information from a specific event or point in time 13 of 32
  • 14. Memory ProcessesAutobiographical Memory Involves remembering information and events from our own life  It is a form of episodic memory. Flashbulb memories  Vivid memories of very personal or emotional events  Weddings  September 11, 2001 14 of 32
  • 15. Factors Affecting Age Differences in Memory Learning Objectives  What evidence is there for age differences in encoding?  What age differences have been observed in retrieval?  What are the relative contributions of encoding and retrieval in explaining age differences in performance? How does a neuroscience perspective help us understand these contributions?  How does automatic retrieval affect age differences in memory?  What age differences have been observed in processing misinformation as true? 15 of 32
  • 16. Factors Affecting Age Differences in Memory Age Differences in Encoding versus Retrieval  Encoding  Elaborative rehearsal involves making connections between incoming information and information already known.  Use of strategies during encoding  Organize  Establish links  Older persons are not as effective in strategies as younger.  Cognitive Neuroscience Revisited  Pet scans show age differences in encoding. 16 of 32
  • 17. Factors Affecting Age Differences in Memory The Emerging Role of Automatic Retrieval  False-fame effect  Mistaking familiarity for fame  Results indicate older persons have a deficit in retrieval.  Misinformation and memory  Source memory  The ability to remember the source of a familiar event as well as if the event is real or imagined (took meds vs. thought about taking meds)  False Memory  When one remembers items or events that did not occur  Remembering childhood abuse that never happened  Picking a person out of a lineup that is innocent Study: shown pics of perpetrators & innocent bystanders; week later: had trouble picking out the perpetrator (trouble with context memory) 17 of 32
  • 18. Memory for Discourse Learning Objectives  What age differences are observed in text-based levels of memory for discourse?  What age differences are observed for situation models of discourse memory?  What social factors and characteristics of individuals influence memory for discourse? 18 of 32
  • 19. Memory for Discourse Text-Based Levels  Research date reveals two important points  With clearly organized text, older adults are similar to younger in recalling more main ideas than details.  Rapid presentation of unorganized material puts older adults at a disadvantage compare to younger.  Does it make a difference if new information agrees or disagrees with what people already know?  Older adults recall less if the new information contradicts previously held beliefs. 19 of 32
  • 20. Memory for Discourse Situation Models  Different people remember differently depending on their situation.  Older and younger use similar updating strategies; however, the process is more effortful for the older.  Another performance variable is prior knowledge or experience.  Both older and younger do better on familiar material.  Memory research must consider multiple factors other than age. 20 of 32
  • 21. Memory in Context Learning Objectives  What age differences are there in prospective memory?  What are some factors that help preserve memory as we grow older? 21 of 32
  • 22. Memory in Context Prospective Memory  Involves remembering to perform a planned action in the future (remembering to remember)  Older patients remember to take medication better than busy middle-aged patients.  Differences between event-related and time-related future events.  Time based remembering is more age related.  Difficult or complex prospective tasks are not remembered well by older adults.  Self-generated memory cues help.  Notes on a calendar, medication dispensers with time/date cues 22 of 32
  • 23. Memory in Context Factors That Preserve Memory  Cognitive Reserve Factors that lessen decline by providing flexibility in responding and adapting to changes in the environment Exercising memory  Thinking of memory as a mental muscle Multilingualism and Cognitive Functioning  Research suggests that older adults who speak four or more languages had the best cognitive state independent of education. Semantic Memory in Service of Episodic Memory  Older adults are better at memory of related as opposed to unrelated word pairs. Negative Stereotypes and Memory Performance 1. Older adults do worse on memory task if they believe that age hampers memory ability. 23 of 32
  • 24. Self-Evaluations of Memory Abilities Learning Objectives  What are the major types of memory self- evaluations?  What age differences have been found in metamemory?  How do younger and older adults compare on memory monitoring tasks? How is task experience important? 24 of 32
  • 25. Self-Evaluations of Memory Abilities Aspects of Memory Self-evaluations  Metamemory – knowledge about how memory works and what we believe is true about it  Memory Monitoring – awareness of what we are doing with our memory right now Age Differences in Metamemory  Older adults  Seem to know less about how memory works than younger  View memory as less stable  Expect that memory will deteriorate  Perceive they have less control over memory 25 of 32
  • 26. Self-Evaluations of Memory Abilities The Role of Memory Self-Efficacy  Memory self-efficacy – the belief that one will be able to perform a specific task  Different than metamemory in that one may know a good deal about how memory works, but still believe they possess low ability to perform a specific memory task.  Memory successes tend to bolster self-efficacy, and failures reduce one’s belief of memory competence. 26 of 32
  • 27. Self-Evaluations of Memory Abilities Age Differences in Memory Monitoring  Researchers ask to predict how well they will do on a memory task.  Predictions without experience  Older adults tend to over estimate how well they will do compared to younger.  Predictions after experience  Older adults are just as accurate as younger.  Regardless of age, adults overestimate performance on recall tasks but underestimate performance on recognition tasks. 27 of 32
  • 28. Memory Training Learning Objectives  What are the major ways that memory skills are trained? How effective are these methods?  What are the key individual difference variables in memory training? 28 of 32
  • 29. Memory Training Training Memory Skills  E – I – E – I – O Strategy  External aids  Notebooks or calendars  Internal aids  Mental processes, rote rehearsal, method of loci, mnemonics  Explicit (direct aids) (intentionally remembering information that was learned at a specific time)  Implicit (indirect aids) (retrieval of information without conscious effort)  O! or Aha! (suddenly remembering)  Memory Drugs  Only modest, short term improvement  No medical breakthroughs  Combining Strategies  What works with one may not work for all 29 of 32
  • 30. Clinical Issues and Memory Testing Learning Objectives  What is the difference between normal and abnormal memory aging?  What is the connection between memory and mental health?  How is memory affected by nutrition and drugs? 30 of 32
  • 31. Clinical Issues and Memory Testing Normal versus Abnormal Memory Aging  Distinguish by asking if changes disrupt a person’s ability to function in everyday life  Repeatedly forgetting to turn off the stove  Forgets the way home  Alzheimer’s  Progressive destruction of memory  Wernicke-Korsakoff  Loss of recent memory and sometimes inability to form new memory 31 of 32
  • 32. Clinical Issues and Memory Testing Memory and Mental Health  Depression  Feelings of helplessness and hopelessness  Dementias  Declines in cognitive performance  Irreversible and untreatable  Studies found that negative effects of depression on memory are greater in young and middle-aged than in older adults. 32 of 32
  • 33. Clinical Issues and Memory Testing Memory, Nutrition, and Drugs  Little is known about the effects of nutrition on memory.  Alcohol and caffeine, if abused, will affect memory.  Sedatives and tranquilizers have been found to impair memory.
  • 34. Mini-Mental Status Exam

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