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Lynn Hasher

Claude Alain, Madeline Cusimano, Linda Garami, Kristina C Backer, Bettina Habelt, Vanessa Chan, Lynn Hasher
We examined the effect of age on listeners' ability to orient attention to an item in auditory short-term memory (ASTM) using high-density electroencephalography, while participants completed a delayed match-to-sample task. During the retention interval, an uninformative or an informative visual retro-cue guided attention to an item in ASTM. Informative cues speeded response times, but only for young adults. In young adults, informative retro-cues generated greater event-related potential amplitude between 450 and 650 ms at parietal sites, and an increased sustained potential over the left central scalp region, thought to index the deployment of attention and maintenance of the cued item in ASTM, respectively...
February 9, 2018: Neurobiology of Aging
Karen L Campbell, Lynn Hasher
We have previously shown that older adults hyper-bind, or form more extraneous associations than younger adults. For instance, when asked to perform a 1-back task on pictures superimposed with distracting words, older adults inadvertently form associations between target-distractor pairs and implicitly transfer these associations to a later paired associate learning task (showing a boost in relearning of preserved over disrupted pairs). We have argued that younger adults are better at suppressing the distracting words and thus, do not form these extraneous associations in the first place...
February 2018: Psychology and Aging
Renée K Biss, Gillian Rowe, Jennifer C Weeks, Lynn Hasher, Kelly J Murphy
Forgetting people's names is a common memory complaint among older adults and one that is consistent with experimental evidence of age-related decline in memory for face-name associations. Despite this difficulty intentionally forming face-name associations, a recent study demonstrated that older adults hyperbind distracting names and attended faces, which produces better learning of these face-name pairs when they reappear on a memory test (Weeks, Biss, Murphy, & Hasher, 2016). The current study explored whether this effect could be leveraged as an intervention to reduce older adults' forgetting of face-name associations, using a method previously shown to improve older adults' retention of a word list (Biss, Ngo, Hasher, Campbell, & Rowe, 2013)...
February 2018: Psychology and Aging
Tarek Amer, Kelly S Giovanello, Cheryl L Grady, Lynn Hasher
Older adults typically show poor associative memory performance relative to younger adults. This age-related effect, however, is mediated by the meaningfulness of the materials used, such that age differences are minimized with the use of information that is consistent with prior knowledge. While this effect has been interpreted as facilitative learning through schematic support, the role of memory retrieval on this effect has yet to be explored. Using an associative memory paradigm that varied the extent of controlled retrieval for previously studied meaningful or arbitrary associations, older and younger adults in the present study retrieved realistic and unrealistic grocery item prices in a speeded, or in a slow, more control-based retrieval condition...
February 2018: Psychology and Aging
Avanti Dey, Mitchell S Sommers, Lynn Hasher
The presence of noise and interfering information can pose major difficulties during speech perception, particularly for older adults. Analogously, interference from similar representations during retrieval is a major cause of age-related memory failures. To demonstrate a suppression mechanism that underlies such speech and memory difficulties, we tested the hypothesis that interference between targets and competitors is resolved by suppressing competitors, thereby rendering them less intelligible in noise...
September 2017: Psychology and Aging
Jennifer C Weeks, Lynn Hasher
Previous work has shown that older adults attend to and implicitly remember more distracting information than young adults; however, it is unknown whether they show a corresponding decrease in implicit memory for targets in the presence of distracters. Using implicit memory tests, we asked whether older adults show a tradeoff in memory between targets and distracters. Here, young and older adults performed a selective attention task in which they were instructed to attend to target pictures and ignore superimposed distracter words...
July 13, 2017: Neuropsychology, Development, and Cognition. Section B, Aging, Neuropsychology and Cognition
Tarek Amer, John A E Anderson, Lynn Hasher
Using implicit tests, older adults have been found to retain conceptual knowledge of previously seen task-irrelevant information. While younger adults typically do not show the same effect, evidence from one study [Gopie, N., Craik, F. I. M., & Hasher, L. (2011). A double dissociation of implicit and explicit memory in younger and older adults. Psychological Science, 22, 634-640. doi: 10.1177/0956797611403321 ] suggests otherwise. In that study, young adults showed greater explicit than implicit memory for previous distractors on a word fragment completion task...
July 1, 2017: Memory
David R Thomson, Lynn Hasher
Despite decades of research on younger adults, little is known about the way in which vigilant attention is affected by healthy aging, and the small body of work that does exist has yielded mixed findings. Prior examinations of aging and vigilant attention have focused almost exclusively on sensory/perceptual tasks despite the fact that many real-world vigilance tasks are semantic in nature and it has been shown that older adults exhibit memory and attention deficits in semantic tasks in other domains. Here, we present the first empirical investigation of vigilant attention to verbal stimuli in healthy normal aging...
July 2017: Experimental Brain Research. Experimentelle Hirnforschung. Expérimentation Cérébrale
K W Joan Ngo, Lynn Hasher
Interference between competing memory traces is a common cause of memory failure. Recent research has demonstrated a suppression mechanism that operates at retrieval to resolve interference. Using an adaptation of the suppression paradigm in Healey, Ngo, and Hasher [(2014). Below-baseline suppression of competitors during interference resolution by younger but not older adults. Psychological Science, 25(1), 145-151. doi: 10.1177/0956797613501169 ], we tested whether the ability to suppress competing memory traces varies with the synchrony between optimal arousal period and time of testing...
March 31, 2017: Memory
John A E Anderson, Saman Sarraf, Tarek Amer, Buddhika Bellana, Vincent Man, Karen L Campbell, Lynn Hasher, Cheryl L Grady
Testing older adults in the morning generally improves behavioral performance relative to afternoon testing. Morning testing is also associated with brain activity similar to that of young adults. Here, we used graph theory to explore how time of day (TOD) affects the organization of brain networks in older adults across rest and task states. We used nodes from the automated anatomical labeling atlas to construct participant-specific correlation matrices of fMRI data obtained during 1-back tasks with interference and rest...
March 2017: Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience
Jennifer C Weeks, Lynn Hasher
Older adults show implicit memory for previously seen distraction, an effect attributed to poor attentional control. It is unclear whether this effect results from lack of control over encoding during the distraction task, lack of retrieval constraint during the test task, or both. In the present study, we simulated poor distraction control in young adults using divided attention at encoding, at retrieval, at both times, or not at all. The encoding task was a 1-back task on pictures with distracting superimposed letter strings, some of which were words...
August 2017: Psychonomic Bulletin & Review
Tarek Amer, Karen L Campbell, Lynn Hasher
Cognitive control, the ability to limit attention to goal-relevant information, aids performance on a wide range of laboratory tasks. However, there are many day-to-day functions which require little to no control and others which even benefit from reduced control. We review behavioral and neuroimaging evidence demonstrating that reduced control can enhance the performance of both older and, under some circumstances, younger adults. Using healthy aging as a model, we demonstrate that decreased cognitive control benefits performance on tasks ranging from acquiring and using environmental information to generating creative solutions to problems...
December 2016: Trends in Cognitive Sciences
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...
October 1, 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...
May 2017: 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...
October 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
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