The effects of aging on the components of auditory - verbal short-term memory

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Abstract

This study aimed at exploring the effects of aging on the multiple components of the auditory-verbal short-term memory (STM). Participants of 45-54, 55-64, 65-74 and 75-84 years of age were presented STM tasks assessing short-term retention of order and item information, and of phonological and lexical-semantic information separately. Because older participants often present reduced hearing levels, we sought to control for an effect of hearing status on performance on STM tasks. Participants' hearing thresholds were measured with a pure-tone audiometer. The results showed age-related effects on all STM components. However, after hearing status was controlled for in analyses of covariance, the age-related differences became non-significant for all STM processes. The fact that age-related hearing loss may in large part explain decreases in performance on STM tasks with aging is discussed.

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Verhaegen, C., & Poncelet, M. (2015). The effects of aging on the components of auditory - verbal short-term memory. Psychologica Belgica, 55(4), 175–195. https://doi.org/10.5334/pb.bm

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