Effects of division of attention during encoding and retrieval on age differences in episodic memory

Exp Aging Res. Apr-Jun 1997;23(2):137-43. doi: 10.1080/03610739708254029.


This study examined the effects of dual task requirements on age differences in free recall performance. One thousand adults ranging in age between 35 and 80 years performed a word recall task alone and concurrently with a card-sorting task (at encoding, retrieval, or both). Age differences in memory performance were substantial under single task conditions, but after correcting memory performance under dual task conditions for differences in single task performance, age did not predict performance. These results do not support the hypothesis that reduced attentional capacity in old age is underlying age differences in episodic memory.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / psychology*
  • Attention*
  • Cohort Studies
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Memory*
  • Mental Recall*
  • Middle Aged