ERIC Number: EJ724525
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2005-Dec
Reference Count: N/A
The Effect of Old Age on Supra-Span Learning of Visuo-Spatial Sequences under Incidental and Intentional Encoding Instructions
Gagnon, Sylvain; Bedard, Marie-Josee; Turcotte, Josee
Brain and Cognition, v59 n3 p225-235 Dec 2005
Recent findings [Turcotte, Gagnon, & Poirier, 2005. The effect of old age on the learning of supra-span sequences. "Psychology and Aging," 20, 251-260.] indicate that incidental learning of visuo-spatial supra-span sequences through immediate serial recall declines with old age (Hebb's paradigm). In this study, we examined whether strategies induced by awareness of the repeated sequence might explain age differences. Young (18-35 years old) and older (65-80 years old) participants underwent either incidental or intentional learning instructions. Results indicated that older adults demonstrated reduced learning of the repeated sequence under both incidental and intentional instructions. In comparison, young adults showed superior learning of the repeated sequence in both conditions but intentional instructions triggered faster and greater learning in this age group. The results strongly indicated that knowledge of the repeated sequence enhanced learning only in the group of young adults. Older adults were unable to translate the knowledge of the repetition into elaborate strategies that would increase recall of the repeated sequence. Other findings suggest that incidental learning in young adults was mediated by both non-conscious and conscious recollection processes.
Descriptors: Older Adults, Age Differences, Young Adults, Intentional Learning, Incidental Learning, Learning Processes, Spatial Ability, Recall (Psychology), Foreign Countries, Aging (Individuals), Visual Perception, Cognitive Processes
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada