Navigation Links
Scientists make older adults less forgetful in memory tests
Date:2/21/2013

Toronto, Canada Scientists at Baycrest Health Sciences' Rotman Research Institute (RRI) and the University of Toronto's Psychology Department have found compelling evidence that older adults can eliminate forgetfulness and perform as well as younger adults on memory tests.

Scientists used a distraction learning strategy to help older adults overcome age-related forgetting and boost their performance to that of younger adults. Distraction learning sounds like an oxymoron, but a growing body of science is showing that older brains are adept at processing irrelevant and relevant information in the environment, without conscious effort, to aid memory performance.

"Older brains may be be doing something very adaptive with distraction to compensate for weakening memory," said Rene Biss, lead investigator and PhD student. "In our study we asked whether distraction can be used to foster memory-boosting rehearsal for older adults. The answer is yes!"

"To eliminate age-related forgetfulness across three consecutive memory experiments and help older adults perform like younger adults is dramatic and to our knowledge a totally unique finding," said Lynn Hasher, senior scientist on the study and a leading authority in attention and inhibitory functioning in younger and older adults. "Poor regulation of attention by older adults may actually have some benefits for memory."

The findings, published online yesterday in Psychological Science, ahead of print publication, have intriguing implications for designing learning strategies for the mature, older student and equipping senior-housing with relevant visual distraction cues throughout the living environment that would serve as rehearsal opportunities to remember things like an upcoming appointment or medications to take, even if the cues aren't consciously paid attention to.

The study

In three experiments, healthy younger adults recruited from the University of Toronto (aged 17 27) and healthy older adults from the community (aged 60 78) were asked to study and recall a list of words after a short delay and again, on a surprise test, after a 15-minute delay. During the delay period, half of the studied words occurred again as distraction while people were doing a very simple attention task on pictures. Although repeating words as distracters had no impact on the memory performance of young adults, it boosted older adults' memory for those words by 30% relative to words that had not repeated as distraction.

"Our findings point to exciting possibilities for using strategically-placed relevant distraction as memory aids for older adults whether it's in classroom, at home or in a long term care environment," said Biss.

While older adults are watching television or playing a game on a tablet, boosting memory for goals (such as remembering to make a phone call or send a holiday card) could be accomplished by something as simple as running a stream of target information across the bottom of their tablet or TV.


'/>"/>

Contact: Kelly Connelly
kconnelly@baycrest.org
416-785-2432
Baycrest Centre for Geriatric Care
Source:Eurekalert

Related medicine news :

1. Scientists unveil secrets of important natural antibiotic
2. Fungi offers new clues in asthma fight, say Cardiff scientists
3. Scientists find promising new approach to preventing progression of breast cancer
4. Hopkins scientists create method to personalize chemotherapy drug selection
5. Spanish scientists develop a pioneering technique to effectively treat mucositis
6. Scientists find calcium is the initial trigger in our immune response to healing
7. Scientists should advance management of behavioral norms
8. Scientists advance the art of magic with a study of Penn and Tellers cups and balls illusion
9. CSHL scientists identify a new strategy for interfering with a potent cancer-causing gene
10. Scientists Find 24 New Genes Linked to Nearsightedness
11. NIH scientists discover promising target to block Staphylococcus infection
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... 02, 2016 , ... Two years ago, Arizona State University ... live by 1 million viewers and won numerous honors, including the region’s top ... the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication are following up their ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 02, 2016 , ... ... the launch of its 60-day free trial program for all of the company’s ... the offer a truly hassle free experience. , FlexiSpot’s unique desktop risers use ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 02, 2016 , ... ... of two ostomy patients, standing as living proof that attitude and determination can ... diseases and issues that spike around the holidays. This campaign will offer patients ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... ... December 02, 2016 , ... The PAINWeekEnd Regional Conference will ... Spa in Honolulu, offering local frontline clinicians the opportunity to extend their certified ... demand for supplemental training related to pain management has surged dramatically in recent ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... (PRWEB) , ... December 02, 2016 , ... "Pro3rd Accents ... FCPX editors to create versatile lower third titles with just a few clicks of ... Accents Volume 2 includes 30 lower third animations. Choose from various styles with accented ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:12/2/2016)... ALEXANDRIA, Va. , Dec. 2, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ ... year by the Academy of Managed Care Pharmacy ... care organizations can better address the opioid addiction ... Medication Assisted Therapies (MAT). ATAG,s newly ... in Improving Access to Naloxone," addresses many issues ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... 2016  Maxor National Pharmacy Services, LLC ("Maxor"), today announced ... ("PSI").  The combination of Texas -based Maxor ... PSI bring together both company,s clinical expertise and high-touch patient ... industry-leading specialty pharmacy. About Maxor ... , , ...
(Date:12/2/2016)... , Dec. 2, 2016 CVS Health Corporation ... Analyst Day in New York City on Thursday, December 15, 2016, beginning ... leadership team will provide an in-depth review of the ... value. The company will also discuss 2017 earnings guidance ... webcast of the event will be broadcast simultaneously on ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: