No evidence for improved associative memory performance following process-based associative memory training in older adults

Martin Bellander, Anne Eschen, Martin Lövdén, Mike Martin, Lars Bäckman, Yvonne Brehmer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

Abstract

Studies attempting to improve episodic memory performance with strategy instructions and training have had limited success in older adults: their training gains are limited in comparison to those of younger adults and do not generalize to untrained tasks and contexts. This limited success has been partly attributed to age-related impairments in associative binding of information into coherent episodes. We therefore investigated potential training and transfer effects of process-based associative memory training (i.e., repeated practice). Thirty-nine older adults (Mage = 68.8) underwent 6 weeks of either adaptive associative memory training or item recognition training. Both groups improved performance in item memory, spatial memory (object-context binding) and reasoning. A disproportionate effect of associative memory training was only observed for item memory, whereas no training-related performance changes were observed for associative memory. Self-reported strategies showed no signs of spontaneous development of memory-enhancing associative memory strategies. Hence, the results do not support the hypothesis that process-based associative memory training leads to higher associative memory performance in older adults.
Original languageEnglish
Article number326
JournalFrontiers in Aging Neuroscience
Volume8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Externally publishedYes

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Episodic Memory
Young Adult
Spatial Memory
Recognition (Psychology)

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title = "No evidence for improved associative memory performance following process-based associative memory training in older adults",
abstract = "Studies attempting to improve episodic memory performance with strategy instructions and training have had limited success in older adults: their training gains are limited in comparison to those of younger adults and do not generalize to untrained tasks and contexts. This limited success has been partly attributed to age-related impairments in associative binding of information into coherent episodes. We therefore investigated potential training and transfer effects of process-based associative memory training (i.e., repeated practice). Thirty-nine older adults (Mage = 68.8) underwent 6 weeks of either adaptive associative memory training or item recognition training. Both groups improved performance in item memory, spatial memory (object-context binding) and reasoning. A disproportionate effect of associative memory training was only observed for item memory, whereas no training-related performance changes were observed for associative memory. Self-reported strategies showed no signs of spontaneous development of memory-enhancing associative memory strategies. Hence, the results do not support the hypothesis that process-based associative memory training leads to higher associative memory performance in older adults.",
author = "Martin Bellander and Anne Eschen and Martin L{\"o}vd{\'e}n and Mike Martin and Lars B{\"a}ckman and Yvonne Brehmer",
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No evidence for improved associative memory performance following process-based associative memory training in older adults. / Bellander, Martin; Eschen, Anne; Lövdén, Martin; Martin, Mike; Bäckman, Lars; Brehmer, Yvonne.

In: Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, Vol. 8, 326, 2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

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AU - Bellander, Martin

AU - Eschen, Anne

AU - Lövdén, Martin

AU - Martin, Mike

AU - Bäckman, Lars

AU - Brehmer, Yvonne

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AB - Studies attempting to improve episodic memory performance with strategy instructions and training have had limited success in older adults: their training gains are limited in comparison to those of younger adults and do not generalize to untrained tasks and contexts. This limited success has been partly attributed to age-related impairments in associative binding of information into coherent episodes. We therefore investigated potential training and transfer effects of process-based associative memory training (i.e., repeated practice). Thirty-nine older adults (Mage = 68.8) underwent 6 weeks of either adaptive associative memory training or item recognition training. Both groups improved performance in item memory, spatial memory (object-context binding) and reasoning. A disproportionate effect of associative memory training was only observed for item memory, whereas no training-related performance changes were observed for associative memory. Self-reported strategies showed no signs of spontaneous development of memory-enhancing associative memory strategies. Hence, the results do not support the hypothesis that process-based associative memory training leads to higher associative memory performance in older adults.

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