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Age-related differences in the temporal dynamics of prospective memory retrieval: a lifespan approach


Mattli, F; Zöllig, J; West, R (2011). Age-related differences in the temporal dynamics of prospective memory retrieval: a lifespan approach. Neuropsychologia, 49(12):3494-3504.

Abstract

The efficiency of prospective memory (PM) typically increases from childhood to young adulthood and then decreases in later adulthood. The current study used event-related brain potentials (ERPs) to examine the development of the neural correlates of processes associated with the detection of a PM cue, switching from the ongoing activity to the prospective task, retrieval of the intention from memory or task set configuration, and strategic monitoring of the environment. The study included 99 participants that were 7.5 to 83 years of age. Slow wave activity related to strategic monitoring was reliable across the lifespan suggesting that all ages were able to allocate attentional resources to facilitate PM. Additionally, components of the ERPs related to cue detection, switching, and task configuration were reliable across the lifespan, suggesting that similar processes contribute to PM at all ages. In children, PM errors may have resulted from a decoupling of processes supporting cue detection and switching from the ongoing activity to the prospective element of the task. In younger and older adults, PM errors appeared to result from the failure to detect PM cues in the environment. These findings lead to the conclusion that different processes may contribute to variation in PM across the lifespan.

Abstract

The efficiency of prospective memory (PM) typically increases from childhood to young adulthood and then decreases in later adulthood. The current study used event-related brain potentials (ERPs) to examine the development of the neural correlates of processes associated with the detection of a PM cue, switching from the ongoing activity to the prospective task, retrieval of the intention from memory or task set configuration, and strategic monitoring of the environment. The study included 99 participants that were 7.5 to 83 years of age. Slow wave activity related to strategic monitoring was reliable across the lifespan suggesting that all ages were able to allocate attentional resources to facilitate PM. Additionally, components of the ERPs related to cue detection, switching, and task configuration were reliable across the lifespan, suggesting that similar processes contribute to PM at all ages. In children, PM errors may have resulted from a decoupling of processes supporting cue detection and switching from the ongoing activity to the prospective element of the task. In younger and older adults, PM errors appeared to result from the failure to detect PM cues in the environment. These findings lead to the conclusion that different processes may contribute to variation in PM across the lifespan.

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10 citations in Web of Science®
10 citations in Scopus®
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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Psychology
Dewey Decimal Classification:150 Psychology
Language:English
Date:2011
Deposited On:25 Nov 2011 09:46
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 15:07
Publisher:Elsevier
ISSN:0028-3932
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2011.08.026

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