Long-term Effects of Memory Training in the Elderly: A Longitudinal Study

Arch Gerontol Geriatr. Sep-Oct 2008;47(2):277-89. doi: 10.1016/j.archger.2007.08.010. Epub 2007 Oct 23.

Abstract

The effects of different types of memory training in young and older adults reported in a previous study [Cavallini, E., Pagnin, A., Vecchi, T., 2003. Aging and everyday memory: the beneficial effect of memory training. Arch. Gerontol. Geriatr. 37, 241-257] were again investigated from a longitudinal perspective 2 years after the original memory training sessions. The authors retested the original participants to measure the long-term effectiveness of two mnemonic strategies: the loci technique and strategic training. Three groups of participants (13 adults, M=24.1, 13 younger elderly, M=64.2 and 13 older elderly, M=74.4) were tested using a battery of seven tasks and four questionnaires, to evaluate memory performance and metamemory variables. The three age groups and the two trainings showed similar results on memory performance. Long-term effects were found only on two memory tasks, both were highly related to everyday life showing that, without additional practice, memory performance tended to go back to the original level. Moreover, the beneficial effects of the previous training sessions were particularly evident for older adults in metamemory knowledge and for strategic training in memory complaints. Results partially support the durability of memory training in improving memory performance.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aging / psychology*
  • Humans
  • Longitudinal Studies
  • Memory Disorders / prevention & control*
  • Memory, Short-Term*
  • Mental Recall*
  • Middle Aged