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Raju Sapkota, Ian van der Linde, Shahina Pardhan; How does aging affect the human visual short-term memory task for object-location and name-location binding?. Journal of Vision 2018;18(10):697. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/18.10.697.
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It is believed that age-related differences in human visual short-term memory (VSTM) performance reflect an impaired ability to retain bound object representations (viz., form, name, spatial, and temporal location). This study examined how healthy aging affects memory retrieval using a set of sequential form and/or location/name memory recognition tasks in which one component (form, location) was cued.Thirty-six young healthy adults (mean age 22.1 years, SD 2.6) and thirty-six normally aging older adults (mean age 69.2 years, SD 6.0), all with normal vision and hearing (self-reported), completed five tasks: 1. Object recognition for two or four sequentially displayed objects; 2. Spatial location recognition for two or four sequentially displayed objects; 3. Combined object-location recognition for two or four sequentially displayed objects; 4. Object recognition with location priming for two or four sequentially displayed objects; 5. Combined name-location recognition for four sequentially displayed objects. Significantly lower performance for older adults in location recognition [task 2, F(1,35) = 5.17, p = 0.03, 2 (Sequence lengths) × 2(Age groups) ANOVA], object-location binding [task 3, F(1,35) = 13.45, p = 0.001, 2 (Sequence lengths) × 2(Age groups) ANOVA], object recognition with location priming [task 4, F(1,35) = 5.53, p = 0.02, 2 (Sequence lengths) × 2(Age groups) ANOVA], and name-location binding [task 5, t(70) = 3.35, p = 0.001, Independent Samples t-Test] were found. The performance of normally aging adults was selectively and significantly lower than young adults in VSTM tasks that required object-location or name-location binding. Older adults exhibited greater impairment when object location (rather than form) was used as a cue during memory retrieval. The findings add to the 'memory source' model by suggesting that age-related decline in VSTM binding performance are driven by impairments in spatial location recognition and priming.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2018
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