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

rsity 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.


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

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