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Basic Books
Aging and Cognitive Processes

Aging and Cognitive Processes

by Fergus I. Craik, Sandra E. Trehub


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For a variety of reasons, there has been an explosion of interest in research on aging over the past few years. The reasons include an awareness that a large and growing proportion of our popUlation is over 65 and that research findings can contribute to their health, satisfaction, and efficiency as members of society; the fact that funding agencies have endorsed the need for more research effort in the area by setting up special programs; and also the fact that researchers themselves are turning more to practical problems as many theoretical issues (in experimen­ tal psychology at least) seem to remain as intractable as ever. Thus, at present there is widespread interest in aging, but there is also a lack of knowledge as to what has already been accomplished in the area, what the theoretical issues are, and what factors contribute to the methodological and practical difficulties. The time is propitious for meetings of experts in various aspects of the aging process, both to discuss among themselves latest advances in the field and also to inte­ grate known information for researchers and practitioners. In the summer of 1980 we organized such a meeting as the 10th annual psychology symposium to be held at the Erindale Campus of the University of Toronto. The topic chosen was Aging and Cognitive Processes, and the edited contributions to the symposium form the chapters of the present book.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780306409462
Publisher: Basic Books
Publication date: 06/01/1982
Series: Advances in the Study of Communication and Affect Ser. , #8
Pages: 396

Table of Contents

1 Neuroanatomical and Clinical Neuropsychological Changes in Aging and Senile Dementia.- Aging: Normal versus Pathological.- Neuroanatomical Changes.- Electron Microscope Observations.- Light Microscope Changes.- Gross Changes.- Clinical Neuropsychological Changes.- Conclusions.- References.- 2 Cellular Mechanisms of Alzheimer’s Disease.- References.- 3 Advances in the Psychophysiology of Aging.- Novel Descriptive Techniques: Windows into the Brain.- Event-Related Potentials.- Computerized Axial Tomography.- Intervention: Plasticity in the Aging.- Conclusions.- References.- 4 A Neuropsychological Approach to Perception and Memory in Normal and Pathological Aging.- Visual Perception: The Effects of Backward Masking on the Identification of Letters and Words.- Primary and Secondary Memory: Free Recall, Cued Recall, and Recognition of Words and Faces.- Procedural or Skill Memory.- Remote Memory.- Memory in Everyday Life.- Summary.- References.- 5 How Do Old People Know What to Do Next?.- Passive and Active Control of Momentary Changes in Selective Attention.- Recency Effects Determined by Stimulus Characteristics or by Previously Learned Associations.- Control of Efficient Interrogation of the Environment.- Search of Probable before Improbable Locations in Space.- Guiding Search on the Basis of Cues from Neighboring Background Items.- Detection of Possibilities for Developing and Using Optimal Scanning Strategies.- Detection of Constant Probability Bias and of Sudden Changes in the Relative Probabilities of Events.- Remembering What to Do Next.- Failures to Index Immediate Memory to Maintain Control in a Serial Task.- Conclusions.- References.- 6 The Development of Visual Information Processes in Adulthood and Old Age.- A Visual Information Processing Model.- Developmental Questions.- Peripheral Perceptual Processes.- Central Perceptual Processes.- Selective Attention and Pattern Recognition.- Developmental Implications.- References.- 7 The Appearance and Disappearance of Age Differences in Adult Memory.- Summary of Present Research.- Integration with Previous Research.- Conclusions.- References.- 8 General Encoding of Episodic Events by Elderly Adults.- Experiment 1.- Experiment 2.- Experiment 3.- Conclusions.- References.- 9 Learning and Memory Deficits in Institutionalized and Noninstitutionalized Old People: An Analysis of Interference Effects.- Interference.- Control of Learning and Memory Deficits.- Brain Mechanisms.- Empirical Studies.- Subjects.- Interference and Learning.- Cuing Effects.- Memory.- Concluding Comments.- References.- 10 Encoding Deficits in Aging.- References.- 11 Aging and Cognitive Deficits: The Role of Attentional Resources.- Theoretical Background.- Empirical Studies.- Aging and Divided Attention.- Depth of Processing and Aging.- Age Differences in Semantic Memory.- Summary of Empirical Results.- Conclusions: Possible Reasons for Age Decrements in Memory.- References.- 12 Classification Style Differences in the Elderly.- Method.- Subjects.- Materials.- Procedure.- Measures.- Results.- Discussion.- References.- 13 Changes with Age in Problem Solving.- The Longitudinal Study of Concept Problem Solving.- Results.- Summary of Results.- Current Status and Future Directions.- References.- 14 The Theory of Fluid and Crystallized Intelligence in Relation to Concepts of Cognitive Psychology and Aging in Adulthood.- Major Concepts.- Some General Features of Procedures.- A Few Comments in Defense of Procedures.- Subjects and Variables.- Subjects.- Variables.- Analyses and Results.- Sensory Detection in Relation to Decline of Intellectual Capacities.- Short-Term Memory, Concentration, Attendveness, and Speediness Related to Gf Decline.- Speediness, Carefulness, and Persistence in Relation to Gf Decline.- Spontaneous Alertness, Expectations, and Incidental Memory.- Multiple-Process Involvements in Gf Decline.- The Rise of Crystallized Intelligence.- Summing Up.- Brain Function in Relation to Gf and Gc.- Gf Relations to Neurological Gating Functions.- Possible Neurological Underpinnings of Gc in Relation to Total Function.- Lateralization Theory in Relation to Gf/Gc Theory.- Summary.- References.- 15 Reallocation of Mental Resources over the Productive Lifespan: Assumptions and Task Analyses.- Overview.- Assumptions in Empirical Cognitive Gerontology: Subject-Selection Practices.- The Comparability Problem.- The Volunteer Problem.- A Study of Cognition, Age, and Voluntarism.- Subject Selection and Classification.- Selection and Theoretical Classification of Tasks.- General Results.- Overall Conclusions and Theoretical Analysis.- References.- 16 Attention Switching in Higher Mental Process.- References.- 17 Studying Cognitive Performance in the Elderly: A Biopsychosocial Approach.- The Biological Issues.- The Nature of Normal Biological Aging.- Non-Specific Presentation of Illness in the Elderly.- Drugs and the Elderly.- The Epidemiology of Senile Dementia.- Social Psychological Issues.- Selection Bias.- The Epiphenomena of Aging.- Labeling and Learned Helplessness.- The Problem of Ecological Validity.- Conclusions.- References.- 18 Memory Functioning in Late Adulthood.- Five Problems of Potential Significance.- Fear of Memory Impairment.- The Meaning and/or Accuracy of Self-Assessment of Memory Problems.- The Progress of Memory Disability.- The Subjective Experience of Memory Impairment and the Strategies Employed.- Potential Effects of Self-Perceived and Attributed Memory Problems on Self-Concept and on Interpretations of Behavior.- Content of Memories in Old Age: Case Studies.- Case 1.- Case 2.- Case 3.- Case 4.- Case 5.- References.- 19 Plasticity and Enhancement of Intellectual Functioning in Old Age: Penn State’s Adult Development and Enrichment Project (ADEPT).- Objectives of ADEPT.- On Variability and Plasticity in Intellectual Aging.- Variability.- Plasticity.- Context and Hypotheses of ADEPT Research.- Intellectual Aging: Role of Performance Factors and Ecological Deficits.- Theory of Fluid-Crystallized Intelligence as Framework.- General Design Characteristics.- Subjects.- Measurement Battery.- Rationale and Substance of Training.- Assessment of Training.- Results of Intervention Studies.- Retesting or No-Feedback Practice.- Training of Figurai Relations Ability.- Training of Induction.- Training of Attention/Memory.- Conclusions.- Retest Effects.- Ability-Specific Training and Transfer.- Implications: Toward an Integrative View.- Summary.- References.

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