Working memory predicts subsequent episodic memory decline during healthy cognitive aging: evidence from a cross-lagged panel design.


Journal Article

Aging adults experience declines in working memory and episodic memory, however, it is unclear how these declines operate over time. Decreased working memory may be associated with early changes in episodic memory, by reducing older adults' ability to meaningfully integrate new information into pre-existing schemas and recall information without the assistance of cues. Given the increased prevalence of Alzheimer's disease, and concerns based on subjective memory changes, it is important to understand how these processes interact over time. To assess the relationship between working memory and episodic memory during healthy cognitive aging, we performed neuropsychological assessments at multiple time points in a sample of 310 community-dwelling older adults. Using a cross-lagged panel design, we demonstrated that the lagged associations between working memory and later episodic free recall were 50% larger than the lagged associations between episodic recall and later working memory, suggesting working memory may be a useful metric of future episodic memory decline.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Memel, M; Woolverton, CB; Bourassa, K; Glisky, EL

Published Date

  • September 2019

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 26 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 711 - 730

PubMed ID

  • 30223708

Pubmed Central ID

  • 30223708

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1744-4128

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1382-5585

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1080/13825585.2018.1521507


  • eng