Executive function and processing resources as predictors of adult age differences in the implementation of encoding strategies

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Abstract

This research examined adult age differences in recall of word lists under different encoding conditions: association (story generation), rehearsal, and a control condition. Executive function and cognitive processing resources (speed and working memory) were investigated as mediators of these age differences. Younger (aged 17-48 years) and older (aged 65-88 years) adults completed a battery of tests of executive function, speed of information processing, working memory, and recall. Age differences in recall were evident for those who used the complex association encoding strategy only. For those using the association strategy, an examination of encoding strategy protocols revealed age differences in the integration of words, which were also related to subsequent recall performance. The association between integration and recall was accounted for by executive function and working memory, but not by speed of processing. Speed accounted for age differences in recall but its contribution to recall was largely independent from that of the impact of integration during encoding.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)273-287
Number of pages15
JournalAging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition
Volume6
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1999

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