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Heterogeneity in memory training improvement among older adults: A latent class analysis

Fandakova Y, Shing YL & Lindenberger U (2012) Heterogeneity in memory training improvement among older adults: A latent class analysis, Memory, 20 (6), pp. 554-567.

This study investigated the extent to which older adults' associative memory functioning can be modified through instruction and practice based on individuals' memory status. Here 42 younger adults and 42 older adults performed four tasks that measured strategic and binding aspects of memory. With latent class analysis, two classes of older adults were identified. The first class showed higher memory functioning similar to younger adults, while the second class was characterised by lower memory functioning. A subsequent analysis examined whether the high- and low-performing older adults differ in patterns of gain from receiving instruction and practice on a mnemonic strategy. The results revealed that high-performing older adults, similar to younger adults, showed higher associative memory performance under explicit intentional encoding instruction and after extensive practice of the strategy. In contrast, low-performing older adults benefited more from directed instruction of the strategy. The results are discussed in relation to individual differences in the functional status of mechanisms underlying memory functioning, and how these differences may lead to compensation or magnification of training gain. The present findings highlight the importance of considering differential memory processes to develop specific training paradigms that target the processes that show the most prominent decline.

Ageing; Episodic memory; Individual differences; Training; Plasticity

AuthorsFandakova Yana, Shing Yee Lee, Lindenberger Ulman
Publication date2012
Publication date online29/05/2012
Date accepted by journal11/04/2012
PublisherTaylor and Francis
ISSN 0965-8211

Memory: Volume 20, Issue 6 (2012)

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