Prospective memory is defined as remembering to perform an action in the future, such as remembering to give a friend a message or to make a doctor's appointment. The ability to perform prospective memory is essential for living independently as we age. For instance, a person who cannot remember to take medication or to turn off the stove will require daily assistance. Older adults often have more difficulty than younger adults with prospective memory. Understanding how the processes underlying prospective memory might differ in younger and older adults is essential for preventing decline and for creating useful techniques for compensating for those individuals who are having difficulty with this everyday memory task. The proposed research uses mathematical modeling techniques to test theoretically derived hypotheses about the relationship between age-related differences in executive control and age differences in prospective memory. A mathematical model will be used to determine how age affects the cognitive processes underlying prospective memory. The PI has validated the model and shown that the model provides a good fit to empirical data in prospective memory studies with young and older adults. Furthermore, the proposed research investigates ways to improve improve older adults'prospective memory. Ten experiments are proposed. Experiments 1-4 will examine the role of executive control in age-related differences in prospective memory. Clearly establishing the relationship between age-related differences in executive control and the processes underlying prospective memory is an essential first step. Techniques for improving prospective memory may rely on executive control and therefore may not be equally effective in young and older adults. Experiments 3-10 will evaluate different techniques for improving older adults'prospective memory. These experiments will provide a solid theoretical and empirical foundation for the extension of these compensatory techniques to non-laboratory settings in future research. The proposed research will be the first to apply formal modeling techniques to understanding how to improve older adults'prospective memory. Public Health Relevance: Prospective memory, which is defined as remembering to perform an action in the future, is fundamentally important for living independently as we age. The proposed research will investigate age-related differences in prospective memory and will develop ways to improve older adults'prospective memory. Given the increasing numbers of older adults in our society, combined with the importance of prospective memory in our daily lives, the proposed research will make an important contribution to basic public health issues.

Public Health Relevance

Prospective memory, which is defined as remembering to perform an action in the future, is fundamentally important for living independently as we age. The proposed research will investigate age-related differences in prospective memory and will develop ways to improve older adults'prospective memory. Given the increasing numbers of older adults in our society, combined with the importance of prospective memory in our daily lives, the proposed research will make an important contribution to basic public health issues.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Type
Research Enhancement Award (SC1)
Project #
5SC1AG034965-05
Application #
8423325
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZGM1-MBRS-9 (BH))
Program Officer
King, Jonathan W
Project Start
2009-03-15
Project End
2015-02-28
Budget Start
2013-04-01
Budget End
2015-02-28
Support Year
5
Fiscal Year
2013
Total Cost
$190,805
Indirect Cost
$54,555
Name
University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio
Department
Psychology
Type
Schools of Arts and Sciences
DUNS #
800189185
City
San Antonio
State
TX
Country
United States
Zip Code
78249
Smith, Rebekah E; Hunt, R Reed (2014) Prospective memory in young and older adults: the effects of task importance and ongoing task load. Neuropsychol Dev Cogn B Aging Neuropsychol Cogn 21:411-31
Smith, Rebekah E; Loft, Shayne (2014) Investigating the cost to ongoing tasks not associated with prospective memory task requirements. Conscious Cogn 27:1-13
Smith, Rebekah E; McConnell Rogers, Melissa D; McVay, Jennifer C et al. (2014) Investigating how implementation intentions improve non-focal prospective memory tasks. Conscious Cogn 27:213-30
Loft, Shayne; Smith, Rebekah E; Remington, Roger W (2013) Minimizing the disruptive effects of prospective memory in simulated air traffic control. J Exp Psychol Appl 19:254-65
Smith, Rebekah E; Hunt, R Reed (2013) Prospective memory in young and older adults: The effects of task importance and ongoing task load. Neuropsychol Dev Cogn B Aging Neuropsychol Cogn :
Horn, Sebastian S; Bayen, Ute J; Smith, Rebekah E (2011) What can the diffusion model tell us about prospective memory? Can J Exp Psychol 65:69-75
Horn, Sebastian S; Bayen, Ute J; Smith, Rebekah E et al. (2011) The multinomial model of prospective memory: validity of ongoing-task parameters. Exp Psychol 58:247-55
Loft, Shayne; Smith, Rebekah E; Bhaskara, Adella (2011) Prospective memory in an air traffic control simulation: external aids that signal when to act. J Exp Psychol Appl 17:60-70
Smith, Rebekah E; Persyn, Deborah; Butler, Patrick (2011) Prospective Memory, Personality, and Working Memory: A Formal Modeling Approach. Z Psychol 219:108-116
Hunt, R Reed; Smith, Rebekah E; Dunlap, Kathryn R (2011) How Does Distinctive Processing Reduce False Recall? J Mem Lang 65:378-389

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