Divergent trajectories in the aging mind: changes in working memory for affective versus visual information with age.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

Working memory mediates the short-term maintenance of information. Virtually all empirical research on working memory involves investigations of working memory for verbal and visual information. Whereas aging is typically associated with a deficit in working memory for these types of information, recent findings suggestive of relatively well-preserved long-term memory for emotional information in older adults raise questions about working memory for emotional material. This study examined age differences in working memory for emotional versus visual information. Findings demonstrate that, despite an age-related deficit for the latter, working memory for emotion was unimpaired. Further, older adults exhibited superior performance on positive relative to negative emotion trials, whereas their younger counterparts exhibited the opposite pattern.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Mikels, JA; Larkin, GR; Reuter-Lorenz, PA; Cartensen, LL

Published Date

  • December 2005

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 20 / 4

Start / End Page

  • 542 - 553

PubMed ID

  • 16420130

Pubmed Central ID

  • PMC2746384

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1939-1498

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0882-7974

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1037/0882-7974.20.4.542


  • eng