Visual distraction, working memory, and aging.


In two experiments, the effects of taxing selective attention processes on the efficiency of working memory processes were considered in relation to normal aging. In both experiments, the presence of task-irrelevant information disrupted the efficiency of working memory processes, and the effect was generally greater for older than for younger adults. The presence of distracting information increased the frequency of intrusion errors in both younger and older adults and of memory-based errors in older adults. These findings suggest that distraction disrupts both the ability to maintain a coherent stream of goal-directed thought and action in younger and older adults and the encoding and retention of relevant information in older adults.


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@article{West1999VisualDW, title={Visual distraction, working memory, and aging.}, author={Robert West}, journal={Memory & cognition}, year={1999}, volume={27 6}, pages={1064-72} }