Adult age differences in event-based prospective memory: A meta-analysis on the role of focal versus nonfocal cues

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Function concept learning and knowledge use was explored across adulthood. During training older and younger adults predicted an amount of physiological arousal produced as a negative and positive function of a chemical substance. Knowledge use was evaluated with two transfer conditions requiring a switch between contextual contingencies: a relationship inversion, predicting the chemical amount given the physiological arousal, and a change from graphic based to text based stimuli. Older adults were impaired in applying the negative slope concept. However, there was no relative deficit in switching between the negative and positive function slopes or inverting the learned relationship. Our results suggest that age-related differences in relational reasoning tasks vary not only with processing efficiency, but also task related conceptual knowledge.

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Journal Article

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