Prospective Memory Across Adolescence: The Effects of Age and Cue Focality
SourceDevelopmental Psychology, 47, 1, (2011), pp. 226-232
Article / Letter to editor
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SubjectDI-BCB_DCC_Theme 3: Plasticity and Memory; Neuropsychology and rehabilitation psychology; Neuro- en revalidatiepsychologie
The present study examined the role of controlled attention in age differences in event-based prospective memory performance across adolescence. The researchers tested whether presenting the prospective memory cue in or out of focal awareness of the ongoing task (resulting in low versus high demands for controlled attention, respectively) might affect age-related prospective memory performance. In total, 119 Chinese participants ages 13 to 20 took part in this study (60 adolescents: age M = 13.26 years, SD = 0.50; 23 boys; 59 young adults: age M = 19.70 years, SD = 0.87; 19 men). Findings demonstrated a significant interaction, F(1, 114) = 6.41, p < .05. No effect of age on prospective memory performance was revealed when a focal cue was used (F < 1), whereas there was a reliable age effect between adolescents and young adults when nonfocal prospective memory cues were presented, F(1, 59) = 16.13, p < .01. This pattern of results suggests that the interplay of both available resources of controlled attention and working memory, along with specific task demands, may contribute to possible age differences in prospective memory performance across adolescence. Results are discussed in the context of the multiprocess theory of prospective memory.
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