The development of working memory in late adulthood
Working memory keeps information available for a limited period of time, enabling information to be integrated. This fundamental prerequisite of learning becomes less effective in later life. To compensate age-related impairments, it is first of all necessary to determine what processes are affected by age-related losses and what processes remain rather invariant.
The aim of the project is to gain insights into working memory functioning that can be used for later interventions. In a first step, we examine which executive functions of working memory, such as focus-switching or inhibition, are affected by age. This topic is studied in cross-sectional experiments. The implementation of experiments follows current studies by the Verhaeghen lab at Georgia Tech University, for instance. Part of the results has been presented at the Cognitive Aging Conference in Atlanta, 2008. The project is funded by the general budget of DIPF. Cooperations exist with Dr. Jörg Behrendt, head of the young scientists’ research group at the Bernstein Center for Computational Neuroscience (BCCN) Göttingen.