Aging is characterized by declines in a large number of aspects of the cognitive system (e.g. Salthouse, 1991; Kausler, 1994). An important question is whether the number of mechanisms behind these declines is smaller than the number of processes involved. The present application operates within the levels-of-dissociation framework, formulated by Kliegl and associates (e.g. Kliegl, 1996; Verhaeghen, Kliegl, & Mayr, 1997), which states that age-related differences in speed and accuracy are characterized by certain well-defined, discrete transitions between different levels of processing complexity. More specifically, the investigator intends to investigate the distinction between sequential processing (i.e., processing that is carried out in a number of independent processing steps) and coordinative processing (i.e. processing while a need exists for organizing the transfer of information between processing steps, thus forcing the system to store intermediate results in working memory while concurrent processing is going on). Currently, a number of crucial assumptions and implications of the framework have gone uninvestigated. The present application is aimed at remediating this situation. (1) Higher-order regularities in the sequential-coordinative distinction will be investigated. Are the effects truly modular, as Kliegl (1995) has proposed; or should they rather be conceptualized as state transitions? (2) The proposed all-or-none character of the jump from sequential to coordinative processing in late adulthood will be examined. Do substantial increases in working memory load indeed not lead to further dissociations? (3) The coordination assumption will be tested. Is coordination - stacking information into working memory and retrieving it while concurrent processing is going on - truly the crucial factor, or is a passive working memory load hypothesis sufficient explanation? (4) It will be tested whether the mode of processing changes from sequential to coordinative processing, and whether an age differential exists in such mode shifts. (5) Finally, it will be tested whether an artifact/disuse interpretation of the distinction is feasible, or whether the dissociation persists after a period of extended practice.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
5R01AG016201-02
Application #
6124014
Study Section
Human Development and Aging Subcommittee 3 (HUD)
Program Officer
Elias, Jeffrey W
Project Start
1998-12-01
Project End
2003-11-30
Budget Start
1999-12-01
Budget End
2000-11-30
Support Year
2
Fiscal Year
2000
Total Cost
$138,948
Indirect Cost
Name
Syracuse University
Department
Psychology
Type
Schools of Arts and Sciences
DUNS #
002257350
City
Syracuse
State
NY
Country
United States
Zip Code
13244
Sysoeva, Olga V; Lange, Elke B; Sorokin, Alexander B et al. (2015) From pre-attentive processes to durable representation: an ERP index of visual distraction. Int J Psychophysiol 95:310-21
Karbach, Julia; Verhaeghen, Paul (2014) Making working memory work: a meta-analysis of executive-control and working memory training in older adults. Psychol Sci 25:2027-37
Pehlivanoglu, Didem; Jain, Shivangi; Ariel, Robert et al. (2014) The ties to unbind: age-related differences in feature (un)binding in working memory for emotional faces. Front Psychol 5:253
Price, John M; Colflesh, Gregory J H; Cerella, John et al. (2014) Making working memory work: the effects of extended practice on focus capacity and the processes of updating, forward access, and random access. Acta Psychol (Amst) 148:19-24
Verhaeghen, Paul; Zhang, Yanmin (2013) What is still working in working memory in old age: dual tasking and resistance to interference do not explain age-related item loss after a focus switch. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci 68:762-70
Duarte, Audrey; Hearons, Patricia; Jiang, Yashu et al. (2013) Retrospective attention enhances visual working memory in the young but not the old: an ERP study. Psychophysiology 50:465-76
Verhaeghen, Paul; Martin, Mike; Sedek, Grzegorz (2012) Reconnecting cognition in the lab and cognition in real life: The role of compensatory social and motivational factors in explaining how cognition ages in the wild. Neuropsychol Dev Cogn B Aging Neuropsychol Cogn 19:1-12
Zhang, Yanmin; Verhaeghen, Paul; Cerella, John (2012) Working memory at work: how the updating process alters the nature of working memory transfer. Acta Psychol (Amst) 139:77-83
Basak, Chandramallika; Verhaeghen, Paul (2011) Aging and switching the focus of attention in working memory: age differences in item availability but not in item accessibility. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci 66:519-26
Basak, Chandramallika; Verhaeghen, Paul (2011) Three layers of working memory: Focus-switch costs and retrieval dynamics as revealed by the N-count task. J Cogn Psychol (Hove) 23:204-219

Showing the most recent 10 out of 33 publications