The Padua PM task: A new high-quality video-based prospective memory assessment in younger and older adults

G. Mioni*, A. Hering, A. Cantarella, M. Kliegel, P. S. Bisiacchi, E. Borella

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review


Older adults are particularly compromised when engaged in Prospective Memory (PM) tasks, but it has also been pointed out that age-related PM decline is mainly observed in experimental settings (laboratory vs. naturalistic settings). Here, we present the Padua PM task, a new “real life” video-based assessment designed to investigate age-related PM changes in an ecologically valid but still well controlled way. The task requires participants to remember to perform event-based and time-based activities while watching short videos. The Padua PM task includes three different conditions namely “Standard condition”, “Event-based High Demand” (HD) and “Time-based High Demand” (HD) that aim to disentangle age-related PM impairment in older adults as a function of cognitive demand and of the monitoring requirements for intention retrieval. Participants (20 young adults mean age: 22.35 years and 20 older adults mean age: 68.90 years) were tested with a classical PM task (i.e., an n-back PM computerised task) and with the new Padua PM task. Results confirmed a lower PM performance in older adults compared to their younger counterparts. Older adults also showed a worse performance, than young ones, when the cue was time-based task compared to the event-based in the n-back task (laboratory task), but they showed an opposite pattern of performance in the Padua PM task (event-based and time-based HD conditions; video-based task). Time-based tasks were not necessarily more attentionally demanding than event-based tasks, but the involvement of attentional resources seemed to differently influence performance in different task types. It is concluded that the Padua PM task may serve as a useful tool to further investigate age-related differences in PM performance in the laboratory while using naturalistic task material.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29230-29241
Number of pages12
JournalCurrent Psychology
Issue number33
Publication statusPublished - 2023


  • Aging
  • Laboratory-based task
  • Naturalistic tasks
  • Padua PM task
  • Prospective memory


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