Effects of Adult Age on Structural and Operational Capacities in Working Memory

Psychol Aging. 1991 Mar;6(1):118-27. doi: 10.1037//0882-7974.6.1.118.

Abstract

Eight experiments were conducted in which young adults and older adults were asked to report the latest value of 1 of several continuously changing numeric or spatial variables. Accuracy of reporting the current value of the target variable was lower with increases in the number of potentially relevant variables and with increases in the number of required processing operations. Young and older adults exhibited similar effects of the number of potentially relevant variables (hypothesized to be sensitive to the structural capacity of working memory) and of the number of required processing operations (hypothesized to be sensitive to the operational capacity of working memory), but older adults were generally less accurate than young adults.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aging / psychology*
  • Arousal*
  • Attention*
  • Concept Formation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mental Recall*
  • Middle Aged
  • Orientation*
  • Psychomotor Performance*
  • Reaction Time