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January 2022

The role of attention in aging retrieval: Relative sparing with greater visual involvement

Author(s): Denburg, N. L., Abeles, N.

Journal/Book: Brain Cognition. 1996; 30: 525B Street, Suite 1900, San Diego, CA 92101-4495. Academic Press Inc Jnl-Comp Subscriptions. 393-396.

Abstract: Age differences in attention seem salient to age-related declines in declarative secondary memory. Ninety community-dwelling adults (ages 30-80+) completed a neuropsychological battery that included Logical Memory, Cowboy Story, Visual Reproductions, and Extended Complex Figure Test. Using a subtractive regression procedure to measure attentional contributions to retrieval, a negative relationship between age and retrieval efficiency emerged on all measures (p less than or equal to .5). The sizes of the age effects decreased as visual-spatial demands increased, and the portion of the age effect that was explained by attention also decreased with increasing visual-spatial involvement. Auditory-verbal retrieval appears to require more attention than visual-spatial retrieval, rendering the former more vulnerable to aging.

Note: Article PS Fastenau, Univ Michigan, Med Ctr, Dept Psychiat, 480 Med Inn Bldg, Box 0840, 1500 E Med Ctr Dr, Ann Arbor, MI 48109 USA

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