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Lynn Hasher

Tarek Amer, John A E Anderson, Karen L Campbell, Lynn Hasher, Cheryl L Grady
Older adults show decrements in the ability to ignore or suppress distraction relative to younger adults. However, age differences in the neural correlates of distraction control and the role of large-scale network interaction in regulating distractors are scarcely examined. In the current study, we investigated age differences in how the anticorrelation between an externally oriented dorsal attention network (DAN) and an internally focused default mode network (DMN) is related to inhibiting distractors presented during a 1-back working memory task...
June 20, 2016: NeuroImage
John A E Anderson, M Karl Healey, Lynn Hasher, Mary A Peterson
We assessed age differences in the ability to resolve competition for figural status in stationary displays using small, enclosed, symmetrical silhouettes that participants classified as depicting "novel" or "familiar" shapes. The silhouettes were biased such that the inside was perceived as the shaped figure, and the outside was perceived as a shapeless ground. The critical manipulation was whether a portion of a meaningful object was suggested on the outside of the border of some of the novel silhouettes but not others (M+Ground and M-Ground novel silhouettes, respectively)...
May 1, 2016: Journal of Vision
Tarek Amer, K W Joan Ngo, Lynn Hasher
We investigated differences between participants of East Asian and Western descent in attention to and implicit memory for irrelevant words which participants were instructed to ignore while completing a target task (a Stroop Task in Experiment 1 and a 1-back task on pictures in Experiment 2). Implicit memory was measured using two conceptual priming tasks (category generation in Experiment 1 and general knowledge in Experiment 2). Participants of East Asian descent showed reliable implicit memory for previous distractors relative to those of Western descent with no evidence of differences on target task performance...
March 6, 2016: British Journal of Psychology
Jennifer C Weeks, Renée K Biss, Kelly J Murphy, Lynn Hasher
Difficulty remembering faces and corresponding names is a hallmark of cognitive aging, as is increased susceptibility to distraction. Given evidence that older adults spontaneously encode relationships between target pictures and simultaneously occurring distractors (a hyper-binding phenomenon), we asked whether memory for face-name pairs could be improved through prior exposure to faces presented with distractor names. In three experiments, young and older adults performed a selective attention task on faces while ignoring superimposed names...
February 1, 2016: Psychonomic Bulletin & Review
Angela K Troyer, Gillian Rowe, Kelly J Murphy, Brian Levine, Larry Leach, Lynn Hasher
There is a need for rapid and reliable Internet-based screening tools for cognitive assessment in middle-aged and older adults. We report the psychometric properties of an on-line tool designed to screen for cognitive deficits that require further investigation. The tool is composed of measures of memory and executive attention processes known to be sensitive to brain changes associated with aging and with cognitive disorders that become more prevalent with age. Measures included a Spatial Working Memory task, Stroop Interference task, Face-Name Association task, and Number-Letter Alternation task...
2014: Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience
Tarek Amer, Lynn Hasher
Evidence from perceptually based implicit memory tasks demonstrates greater priming from distracting information among older compared with younger adults. We examined whether older adults also show greater conceptually based implicit priming from distracting information. We measured priming using a general-knowledge test that was preceded by an incidental-encoding task (a color-naming Stroop task in one experiment and a 1-back task involving pictures with irrelevant words superimposed in a second experiment)...
December 2014: Psychological Science
John A E Anderson, Karen L Campbell, Tarek Amer, Cheryl L Grady, Lynn Hasher
Behavioral evidence suggests that the attention-based ability to regulate distraction varies across the day in synchrony with a circadian arousal rhythm that changes across the life span. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), we assessed whether neural activity in an attention control network also varies across the day and with behavioral markers. We tested older adults in the morning or afternoon and younger adults tested in the afternoon using a 1-back task with superimposed distractors, followed by an implicit test for the distractors...
September 2014: Psychology and Aging
Jennifer C Weeks, Lynn Hasher
Older adults' decreased ability to inhibit irrelevant information makes them especially susceptible to the negative effects of simultaneously occurring distraction. For example, older adults are more likely than young adults to process distraction presented during a task, which can result in delayed response times, decreased reading comprehension, disrupted problem solving, and reduced memory for target information. However, there is also some evidence that the tendency to process distraction can actually facilitate older adults' performance when the distraction is congruent with the target information...
2014: Frontiers in Psychology
M Karl Healey, K W Joan Ngo, Lynn Hasher
Resolving interference from competing memories is a critical factor in efficient memory retrieval, and several accounts of cognitive aging suggest that difficulty resolving interference may underlie memory deficits such as those seen in the elderly. Although many researchers have suggested that the ability to suppress competitors is a key factor in resolving interference, the evidence supporting this claim has been the subject of debate. Here, we present a new paradigm and results demonstrating that for younger adults, a single retrieval attempt is sufficient to suppress competitors to below-baseline levels of accessibility even though the competitors are never explicitly presented...
January 2014: Psychological Science
M Karl Healey, Lynn Hasher, Karen L Campbell
Difficulty with memory retrieval is a salient feature of cognitive aging and may be related to a reduction in the ability to suppress items that compete for retrieval. To test this hypothesis directly, we presented a series of words for shallow coding that included pairs of orthographically similar words (e.g., ALLERGY and ANALOGY). After a delay, participants solved word fragments (e.g., A _ L _ _ GY) that resembled both words in a pair but could only be completed by one. We measured the consequence of having successfully resolved competition by having participants read a list of words including the rejected competitors as quickly as possible...
September 2013: Psychology and Aging
Tarek Amer, Beste Kalender, Lynn Hasher, Sandra E Trehub, Yukwal Wong
The current study investigates whether long-term music training and practice are associated with enhancement of general cognitive abilities in late middle-aged to older adults. Professional musicians and non-musicians who were matched on age, education, vocabulary, and general health were compared on a near-transfer task involving auditory processing and on far-transfer tasks that measured spatial span and aspects of cognitive control. Musicians outperformed non-musicians on the near-transfer task, on most but not all of the far-transfer tasks, and on a composite measure of cognitive control...
2013: PloS One
Karen L Campbell, Alexandra Trelle, Lynn Hasher
Older adults show hyper- (or excessive) binding effects for simultaneously and sequentially presented distraction. Here, we addressed the potential role of hyper-binding in paired-associate learning. Older and younger adults learned a list of word pairs and then received an associative recognition task in which rearranged pairs were formed from items that had originally occurred either close together or far apart in the study list. Across 3 experiments, older adults made more false alarms to near re-pairings than to far re-pairings...
January 2014: Journal of Experimental Psychology. Learning, Memory, and Cognition
Lixia Yang, Juan Li, Julia Spaniol, Lynn Hasher, Andrea J Wilkinson, Jing Yu, Yanan Niu
Research suggests that people in Eastern interdependent cultures process information more holistically and attend more to contextual information than do people in Western independent cultures. The current study examined the effects of culture and age on memory for socially meaningful item-context associations in 71 Canadians of Western European descent (35 young and 36 older) and 72 native Chinese citizens (36 young and 36 older). All participants completed two blocks of context memory tasks. During encoding, participants rated pictures of familiar objects...
2013: PloS One
Renée K Biss, K W Joan Ngo, Lynn Hasher, Karen L Campbell, Gillian Rowe
In three experiments, we assessed whether older adults' generally greater tendency to process distracting information can be used to minimize widely reported age-related differences in forgetting. Younger and older adults studied and recalled a list of words on an initial test and again on a surprise test after a 15-min delay. In the middle (Experiments 1a and 2) or at the end (Experiment 3) of the delay, participants completed a 1-back task in which half of the studied words appeared as distractors. Across all experiments, older adults reliably forgot unrepeated words; however, older adults rarely or never forgot the words that had appeared as distractors, whereas younger adults forgot words in both categories...
April 2013: Psychological Science
Narinder Kapur, Jonathan Cole, Tom Manly, Indre Viskontas, Aafke Ninteman, Lynn Hasher, Alvaro Pascual-Leone
Disorders of the brain and its sensory organs have traditionally been associated with deficits in movement, perception, cognition, emotion, and behavior. It is increasingly evident, however, that positive phenomena may also occur in such conditions, with implications for the individual, science, medicine, and for society. This article provides a selective review of such positive phenomena--enhanced function after brain lesions, better-than-normal performance in people with sensory loss, creativity associated with neurological disease, and enhanced performance associated with aging...
August 2013: Neuroscientist: a Review Journal Bringing Neurobiology, Neurology and Psychiatry
Renée K Biss, Jennifer C Weeks, Lynn Hasher
Positive mood states are believed to broaden the focus of attention in younger adults, but it is unclear whether the same is true for older adults. Here we examined one consequence of broader attention that has been shown in young adults: that memory for distraction is greater for those in a positive mood. In the current study, positive and neutral moods were induced in older adults (M = 67.9) prior to a 1-back task in which participants were instructed to attend to relevant pictures and ignore distracting words...
2012: Frontiers in Psychology
Norman A S Farb, Cheryl L Grady, Stephen Strother, David F Tang-Wai, Mario Masellis, Sandra Black, Morris Freedman, Bruce G Pollock, Karen L Campbell, Lynn Hasher, Tiffany W Chow
INTRODUCTION: Degraded social function, disinhibition, and stereotypy are defining characteristics of frontotemporal dementia (FTD), manifesting in both the behavioral variant of frontotemporal dementia (bvFTD) and semantic dementia (SD) subtypes. Recent neuroimaging research also associates FTD with alterations in the brain's intrinsic connectivity networks. The present study explored the relationship between neural network connectivity and specific behavioral symptoms in FTD. METHODS: Resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging was employed to investigate neural network changes in bvFTD and SD...
July 2013: Cortex; a Journal Devoted to the Study of the Nervous System and Behavior
Andreea Oliviana Diaconescu, Lynn Hasher, Anthony Randal McIntosh
Objects comprise of visual and auditory signatures that arrive through distinct sensory channels. Exposure to cross-modal events sets up expectations about what a given object most likely "sounds" like, and vice versa, thereby facilitating detection and recognition. Whereas episodic and working memory functions decline with age, the extent to which multisensory integration processes change with age remains an open question. In the present study, we examined whether multisensory integration processes play a compensatory role in normal aging...
January 15, 2013: NeuroImage
Renée K Biss, Karen L Campbell, Lynn Hasher
OBJECTIVES: Previously relevant information can disrupt the ability of older adults to remember new information. Here, the researchers examined whether prior irrelevant information, or distraction, can also interfere with older adults' memory for new information. METHOD: Younger and older adults first completed a 1-back task on pictures that were superimposed with distracting words. After a delay, participants learned picture-word paired associates and memory was tested using picture-cued recall...
July 2013: Journals of Gerontology. Series B, Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Renée K Biss, Lynn Hasher, Ruthann C Thomas
Previous research demonstrates that individuals in a positive mood are differentially distracted by irrelevant information during an ongoing task (Rowe et al. in Proc Natl Acad Sci 104:383-388, 2007). The present study investigated whether susceptibility to distraction shown by individuals in a positive mood results in greater implicit memory for that distraction. Participants performed a similarity-judgment task on pictures that were superimposed with distracting words. When these previously distracting words could be used as solutions on a delayed implicit task administered several minutes later, performance was positively correlated with pleasantness of mood...
January 1, 2010: Motivation and Emotion
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