TitleIndividual differences in task-specific paired associates learning in older adults: the role of processing speed and working memory.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2013
AuthorsKurtz, T, Mogle, J, Sliwinski, MJ, Hofer, SM
JournalExp Aging Res
Date Published2013
KeywordsAged, Aging, Female, Humans, Male, Memory, Middle Aged, Paired-Associate Learning, Reaction Time

<p><b>UNLABELLED: </b>BACKGROUND/STUDY CONTEXT: The role of processing speed and working memory was investigated in terms of individual differences in task-specific paired associates learning in a sample of older adults. Task-specific learning, as distinct from content-oriented item-specific learning, refers to gains in performance due to repeated practice on a learning task in which the to-be-learned material changes over trials.</p><p><b>METHODS: </b>Learning trajectories were modeled within an intensive repeated-measures design based on participants obtained from an opt-in Internet-based sampling service (M(age) = 65.3, SD = 4.81). Participants completed an eight-item paired associates task daily over a 7-day period.</p><p><b>RESULTS: </b>Results indicated that a three-parameter hyperbolic model (i.e., initial level, learning rate, and asymptotic performance) best described learning trajectory. After controlling for age-related effects, both higher working memory and higher processing speed had a positive effect on all three learning parameters.</p><p><b>CONCLUSION: </b>These results emphasize the role of cognitive abilities for individual differences in task-specific learning of older adults.</p>

Alternate JournalExp Aging Res
PubMed ID24151913
PubMed Central IDPMC3891359
Grant ListP30 AG024978 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
P30AG024978 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States