The "Where" and the "What": Aging and Visuo-spatial Working Memory
Abstract: Visuo-spatial working memory (VSWM) processes two attributes: object identity and spatial location. Previous research suggests that object processing and location processing may have asymmetric demands for cognitive resources. The present research aims at understanding the relationship between these VSWM attributes, how they are separately processed and bound, and whether the factors tha... read moret independently influence visual or spatial processing also affect their interaction. Toward this end, we systematically manipulated spatial organization, semantic association, and strategic processing to examine how these factors interact and influence VSWM processing in different age groups. We found that spatial organization, semantic association, and strategic processing differentially affected younger and older adults' VSWM processing. Specifically, younger adults tend to rely on spatial processing whereas older adults tend to rely on semantic processing. We also found that comparing with younger adults, older adults may use strategic processing less effectively and may need more explicit environmental support in VSWM.
Thesis (M.S.)--Tufts University, 2016.
Submitted to the Dept. of Psychology.
Advisors: Holly Taylor, and Ayanna Thomas.
Committee: Holly Taylor, Ayanna Thomas, and Linda Henkel.
Keywords: Psychology, and Cognitive psychology.read less