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Psychology and Aging

Elizabeth Ankudowich, Stamatoula Pasvanis, M Natasha Rajah
Altered functional connectivity between dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), posterior hippocampus (HC) and other brain regions with advanced age may contribute to age-related differences in episodic memory. In the current fMRI study of spatial context memory, we used seed connectivity analysis to test for age-related differences in the correlations between activity in DLPFC and HC seeds, and the rest of the brain, in an adult life span sample. In young adults, we found that connectivity between right DLPFC and other prefrontal cortex regions, parietal cortex, precuneus, and ventral visual cortices during encoding was positively related to performance...
November 8, 2018: Psychology and Aging
Lea M Bartsch, Vanessa M Loaiza, Klaus Oberauer
Past research has consistently shown that episodic memory (EM) declines with adult age and, according to the associative-deficit hypothesis, the locus of this decline is binding difficulties. We investigated the importance of establishing and maintaining bindings in working memory (WM) for age differences in associative EM. In Experiment 1 we adapted the presentation rate of word pairs for each participant to achieve 67% correct responses during a WM test of bindings in young and older adults. EM for the pairs was tested thereafter in the same way as WM...
November 8, 2018: Psychology and Aging
Courtney von Hippel, Elise K Kalokerinos, Katri Haanterä, Hannes Zacher
Both older and younger employees experience age-based stereotype threat in the workplace, but only older employees appear to be vulnerable to disengagement as a consequence. The present study examines 2 mechanisms that might explain this age difference: (a) stress appraisals of challenge and hindrance and (b) rumination. Using a weekly diary study design over 5 weeks, 280 employees across the life span (aged between 18 and 66 years), completed 1,288 weekly surveys. Work outcomes examined were job satisfaction, job engagement, affective organizational commitment, workplace well-being, and intentions to quit...
November 5, 2018: Psychology and Aging
Alan W Kersten, Julie L Earles, Kelley Aucello, Emilia Tautiva, Nicole McRostie, Cassidy Brydon, James Adaryukov
This research provides evidence for similarities and differences between the results of traditional source memory paradigms and results from the Person-Action Conjunction (PAC) test. In the PAC test, participants view actions performed by different actors and are later tested on their memory for which actor performed each action. The PAC test can be construed as a source memory test, with actions serving as target information and actors representing the sources of those actions. Unlike traditional source memory tests, which involve a many-to-few relation of targets to sources, the PAC test involves a many-to-many relation, typically with equal numbers of actors and actions...
November 5, 2018: Psychology and Aging
JoNell Strough, Andrew M Parker, Wändi Bruine de Bruin
Inaction inertia occurs when missing an attractive opportunity (vs. not having been offered it) decreases the likelihood of acting on another similar opportunity. We experimentally manipulated future time perspective to reduce inaction inertia. Middle-aged and older adults from the Health and Retirement Study were randomly assigned to imagining restricted or expansive time left to live, or to no instructions. Across age, imagining a restricted future (vs. the other two instructions) reduced inaction inertia and future time perspective...
October 25, 2018: Psychology and Aging
Pascale Tremblay, Isabelle Deschamps, Pascale Bédard, Marie-Hélène Tessier, Micaël Carrier, Mélanie Thibeault
Despite the huge importance of spoken language production in everyday life, little is known about the manner and extent to which the motor aspects of speech production evolve with advancing age, as well as the nature of the underlying senescence mechanisms. In this cross-sectional group study, we examined the relationship between age and speech production performance using a nonlexical speech production task in which spoken syllable frequency and phonological complexity were systematically varied to test hypotheses about underlying mechanisms...
October 18, 2018: Psychology and Aging
Bernhard Pastötter, Karl-Heinz T Bäuml
Interference susceptibility has been suggested to be a major factor for episodic memory impairment in healthy older adults. Previous work has shown that retrieval practice can reduce proactive interference and thus enhance learning and memory in younger adults, a finding referred to as the forward effect of testing in the literature. This study examined the late developmental trajectory of the forward effect in middle-aged and older adults (40 to 79 years of age). Participants studied three lists of items in anticipation of a final cumulative recall test...
October 18, 2018: Psychology and Aging
Eunae Cho, Tuo-Yu Chen
With the rapidly aging workforce worldwide, the need to retain healthy older workers is greater than ever. To promote health among older workers, a better understanding of the factors that contribute to their health is crucial. With this in mind, we investigated the impact of work-family conflict and work-family enrichment on older workers' health. Five waves of longitudinal data from the Health and Retirement Study were used. A total of 4,509 workers aged 55 years and older at baseline were included. Multilevel modeling was conducted to analyze the data...
October 11, 2018: Psychology and Aging
Craig Hedge, Georgina Powell, Petroc Sumner
Older adults tend to have slower response times (RTs) than younger adults on cognitive tasks. This makes the examination of domain-specific deficits in aging difficult, as differences between conditions in raw RTs (RT costs) typically increase with slower average RTs. Here, we examine the mapping between 2 established approaches to dealing with this confound in the literature. The first is to use transformed RT costs, with the z-score and proportional transforms both being commonly used. The second is to use mathematical models of choice RT behavior, such as the drift-diffusion model (Ratcliff, 1978)...
October 8, 2018: Psychology and Aging
Jeanne L Tsai, Tamara Sims, Yang Qu, Ewart Thomas, Da Jiang, Helene H Fung
Previous research has shown that American culture places a premium on excitement, enthusiasm, and other high-arousal positive states (HAP) compared with various East Asian cultures. In two studies, we tested the prediction that valuing HAP would be associated with less positive personal views of old age (i.e., fewer things people looked forward to and more things they dreaded about old age) in samples of European American, Chinese American, and Hong Kong Chinese younger, middle-aged, and older adults. In Study 1 ( N = 849), participants rated how much they ideally wanted to feel HAP during a typical week and described their personal views of old age...
October 8, 2018: Psychology and Aging
Susanne Scheibe, Dannii Y Yeung, Friederike Doerwald
Affective experiences at work are a key contributing factor to long-term job-related well-being and effectiveness, yet may systematically change as workers get older. Given the central role of affect in work settings, it is important to obtain a thorough understanding of older workers' strengths and vulnerabilities in affective functioning. This paper's goal was to comprehensively study age differences in mean levels and dynamics of affect (affect stability, occurrence of positive and negative daily work events, and affective reactivity) and to link these with perceptions of global occupational well-being and effectiveness...
October 8, 2018: Psychology and Aging
Helene H Fung, Minjie Lu, Derek M Isaacowitz
Studies on socioemotional selectivity theory have found that compared with younger adults, older adults are more likely to (a) prefer to interact with emotionally close social partners and (b) show preferential cognitive processing of positive relative to negative stimuli. To integrate these 2 lines of findings, this study examined attention toward emotional (positive and negative) facial expressions of experimentally manipulated emotionally close versus nonclose targets among younger and older adults. Compared with younger adults, older adults gazed more at facial expressions of emotionally close than nonclose targets, regardless of valence...
October 8, 2018: Psychology and Aging
Javier Oltra-Cucarella, Rosario Ferrer-Cascales, Montserrat Alegret, Ruth Gasparini, Leslie Michelle Díaz-Ortiz, Rocío Ríos, Ángel Luis Martínez-Nogueras, Iban Onandia, José A Pérez-Vicente, Luis Cabello-Rodríguez, Miriam Sánchez-SanSegundo
Mild Cognitive Impairment (MCI) is a heterogeneous condition between normal aging and dementia. Upon neuropsychological testing, MCI can be divided into 4 groups: single-domain amnestic MCI (sd-aMCI), multiple-domain amnestic MCI (md-aMCI), single- and multiple-domain nonamnestic MCI (sd-naMCI, md-naMCI). Some controversy exists about whether the risk of progression to Alzheimer's disease (risk-AD) is increased in all MCI subtypes. We meta-analyzed the risk-AD for 4 MCI groups using random-effects metaregression with the Hierarchical Robust Variance Estimator and sample size, criterion for objective cognitive impairment, length of follow-up and source of recruitment as covariates...
October 4, 2018: Psychology and Aging
Caroline Beese, Markus Werkle-Bergner, Ulman Lindenberger, Angela D Friederici, Lars Meyer
Verbal working memory-intensive sentence processing declines with age. This might reflect older adults' difficulties with reducing the memory load by grouping single words into multiword chunks. Here we used a serial order task emphasizing syntactic and semantic relations. We evaluated the extent to which older compared with younger adults may differentially use linguistic constraints during sentence processing to cope with verbal working memory limitations. Probing syntactic-semantic interactions, age differences were hypothesized to be confined to the use of syntactic constraints and to be accompanied by an increased reliance on semantic information...
October 4, 2018: Psychology and Aging
Michael A Motes, Jeffrey S Spence, Matthew R Brier, Hsueh-Sheng Chiang, Bambi L DeLaRosa, Justin Eroh, Mandy J Maguire, Raksha A Mudar, Gail D Tillman, Michael A Kraut, John Hart
To investigate differences in inhibitory control and processing speed over the life span, participants in 7- to 8-, 10- to 11-, 12- to 15-, 18- to 25-, and 54- to 80-year-old age cohorts completed a Go/No-Go task requiring varying levels of semantic categorization. Discriminant function analysis of correct rejection rates (CRRs), hit rates (HRs), and reaction times (RTs) revealed a function on which CRR loaded positively and RT loaded negatively, across categorization levels. Scores increased from youngest to the younger adult cohort and decreased for the older adult cohort...
October 4, 2018: Psychology and Aging
Tamar H Gollan, Matthew Goldrick
The current study investigated how aging affects production and self-correction of errors in connected speech elicited via a read aloud task. Thirty-five cognitively healthy older and 56 younger participants read aloud 6 paragraphs in each of three conditions increasing in difficulty: (a) normal, (b) nouns-swapped (in which nouns were shuffled across pairs of sentences in each paragraph), and (c) exchange (in which adjacent words in every two sentences were reversed in order). Reading times and errors increased with task difficulty, but self-correction rates were lowest in the nouns-swapped condition...
September 27, 2018: Psychology and Aging
Shekeila D Palmer, James Hutson, Sven L Mattys
Statistical learning (SL) is a powerful learning mechanism that supports word segmentation and language acquisition in infants and young adults. However, little is known about how this ability changes over the life span and interacts with age-related cognitive decline. The aims of this study were to: (a) examine the effect of aging on speech segmentation by SL, and (b) explore core mechanisms underlying SL. Across four testing sessions, young, middle-aged, and older adults were exposed to continuous speech streams at two different speech rates, both with and without cognitive load...
September 24, 2018: Psychology and Aging
Thomas M Hess, Claire M Growney, Allura F Lothary
The impact of aging stereotypes on task engagement was examined. Older adults (N = 144, ages 65 to 85) were exposed to primes designed to activate positive or negative stereotypes about aging, with half of the individuals in each stereotype group also assigned to a high-accountability condition to enhance motivation. Participants performed a memory-scan task comprising 2 levels of demands (memory sets of 4 or 7 items), with 2 blocks (5 min each) at each level. Systolic blood pressure recorded throughout the task was used to monitor engagement levels...
September 13, 2018: Psychology and Aging
Timothy A Salthouse
Although sensitive detection of pathological cognitive aging requires accurate information about the trajectory of normal cognitive aging, prior research has revealed inconsistent patterns of age-cognition relations with cross-sectional and longitudinal comparisons. Age trends in four cognitive domains were compared in over 5,000 adults with cross-sectional data, and in almost 1,600 adults with three-occasion longitudinal data. Quasi-longitudinal comparisons, which are similar to cross-sectional comparisons in that there is no prior test experience and are similar to longitudinal comparisons in that the participants are from the same birth cohorts, were also reported...
September 13, 2018: Psychology and Aging
Carmen Belacchi, Caterina Artuso
The aim of the current study was to investigate how the taxonomic and thematic organization of semantic long-term memory affected the recall performance of adults and older participants on a complex semantic working memory (SWM) task. Taxonomic and thematic classification are the two main systems used to organize knowledge: taxonomic information is hierarchically structured and typically independent of space and time, whereas thematically grouped concepts are horizontal and strictly context-dependent. Generally, thematic connections (more intuitive and experience-based) are formed earlier in development, while taxonomic links (more abstract and logic-based) are acquired later...
September 13, 2018: Psychology and Aging
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