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ERIC Number: EJ1119163
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016-Nov
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0278-7393
The Role of Aging in Intra-Item and Item-Context Binding Processes in Visual Working Memory
Peterson, Dwight J.; Naveh-Benjamin, Moshe
Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, v42 n11 p1713-1730 Nov 2016
Aging is accompanied by declines in both working memory and long-term episodic memory processes. Specifically, important age-related memory deficits are characterized by performance impairments exhibited by older relative to younger adults when binding distinct components into a single integrated representation, despite relatively intact memory for the individual components. While robust patterns of age-related binding deficits are prevalent in studies of long-term episodic memory, observations of such deficits in visual working memory (VWM) may depend on the specific type of binding process being examined. For instance, a number of studies indicate that processes involved in "item-context" binding of items to occupied spatial locations within visual working memory are impaired in older relative to younger adults. Other findings suggest that "intra-item" binding of visual surface features (e.g., color, shape), compared to memory for single features, within visual working memory, remains relatively intact. Here, we examined each of these binding processes in younger and older adults under both optimal conditions (i.e., no concurrent load) and concurrent load (e.g., articulatory suppression, backward counting). Experiment 1 revealed an age-related "intra-item" binding deficit for surface features under no concurrent load but not when articulatory suppression was required. In contrast, in Experiments 2 and 3, we observed an age-related "item-context" binding deficit regardless of the level of concurrent load. These findings reveal that the influence of concurrent load on distinct binding processes within VWM, potentially those supported by rehearsal, is an important factor mediating the presence or absence of age-related binding deficits within VWM.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education; Postsecondary Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Missouri
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A