Age-related slowing in the retrieval of information from long-term memory.
The present experiment investigated adult age differences in the retrieval of information from long-term memory. Each trial required a decision regarding the synonymy of two visually presented words. On the yes-response trials, the two words were either identical, differed only in case, or were synonyms that differed in case. Age differences in absolute decision time were greater for the synonyms than for the other word pairs, but the proportional slowing of decision time exhibited by the older adults was constant across word-pair type. A generalized age-related slowing in the speed of information processing can currently account for age differences in the retrieval of letter-identity and semantic information from long-term memory.
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