DescriptionThe present work has as a main objective clarify and explore the impact of age on working memory (WM). To this end, we studied the performance of normal young and old subjects in different working memory tasks organized in a continuum of storage-manipulation. The sample consisted of a group of 20 young subjects (mean age: 26.75 years ± 4.387) and a group of 20 elderly subjects (mean age: 66.50 ± 5.492), both without neurological and/or cognitive impairments. The protocol used to evaluate the WM was composed by tasks of direct digit, word and spatial span, backward digit, word and spatial span, self-ordered task, n-back task, Wisconsin Card Sorting Test and a task of verbal fluency. To analyze the relationship between age and the subjects performance at the explained tasks, a comparison of means was made. For the performance variables that did not follow a normal distribution we used the nonparametric Mann-Whitney U test for independent samples and, for the performance variables that followed a normal distribution we used the parametric t test for independent samples. The results are discussed based on assumptions made throughout the paper and framed in light of the literature review. It was found that age affects the performance of WM tasks. However, when between the two groups are compared the difference in performance between a task that requires less manipulation and another that requires a superior manipulation, there are no major differences related to age, except in spatial tasks.
|Period||10 May 2012|
|Held at||Universidade Católica Portuguesa|
|Degree of Recognition||Master|
- Working memory
- Cognitive performance