Basic and Applied Memory Research: Practical Applications - Vol. 2

By Douglas J. Herrmann; Cathy McEvoy et al. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER TWENTY-NINE Taxonomy of Priming: Implications for Aging

John M. Rybash Hamilton College


OVERVIEW

A multitude of developmental and neuropsychological investigations have revealed that aging is accompanied by decrements in explicit memory. Empirical studies that have examined the relationship between age and implicit memory, however, have yielded an array of equivocal findings. The research evidence suggesting variability in the pattern of implicit memory performance in older adults raises several important issues. What types of implicit memory are spared (or impaired) during the course of normal aging? What are the psychological and neurological mechanisms underlying the age-related stability (or decline) of different categories of implicit memory? What is the relationship between the changes in implicit memory associated with normal aging vis-à-vis neuropathological aging (e.g., Alzheimer's disease) and neurological disorder (e.g., amnesia)? What insights about memory training and remediation can be gained from an understanding of age-related changes in implicit memory? The aim of this chapter is to provide some preliminary answers to these questions.


Implicit and Explicit Memory

Explicit memory, which is measured by tasks such as recognition and recall, involves the intentional conscious recollection of past experience. Implicit memory, on the other hand, is assessed by priming tasks in which subjects are

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