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Influence of cognitive functioning on age-related performance declines in visuospatial sequence learning

Kruger, M, Hinder, MR ORCID: 0000-0002-5240-4790, Puri, R ORCID: 0000-0002-0231-1369 and Summers, JJ 2017 , 'Influence of cognitive functioning on age-related performance declines in visuospatial sequence learning' , Frontiers in Psychology, vol. 8 , pp. 1-10 , doi:

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Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate how age-related performancedifferences in a visuospatial sequence learning task relate to age-related declines incognitive functioning.Method: Cognitive functioning of 18 younger and 18 older participants wasassessed using a standardized test battery. Participants then undertook a perceptualvisuospatial sequence learning task. Various relationships between sequence learningand participants’ cognitive functioning were examined through correlation and factoranalysis.Results: Older participants exhibited significantly lower performance than their youngercounterparts in the sequence learning task as well as in multiple cognitive functions.Factor analysis revealed two independent subsets of cognitive functions associatedwith performance in the sequence learning task, related to either the processing andstorage of sequence information (first subset) or problem solving (second subset). Agerelateddeclines were only found for the first subset of cognitive functions, which alsoexplained a significant degree of the performance differences in the sequence learningtask between age-groups.Discussion: The results suggest that age-related performance differences in perceptualvisuospatial sequence learning can be explained by declines in the ability to process andstore sequence information in older adults, while a set of cognitive functions related toproblem solving mediates performance differences independent of age.

Item Type: Article
Authors/Creators:Kruger, M and Hinder, MR and Puri, R and Summers, JJ
Keywords: factor analysis, information processing, problem solving, perceptual learning, memory, aging
Journal or Publication Title: Frontiers in Psychology
Publisher: Frontiers Research Foundation
ISSN: 1664-1078
DOI / ID Number:
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Copyright 2017 Krüger, Hinder, Puri and Summers. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

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