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Learning by task repetition enhances object individuation and memorization in the elderly

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Abstract
A decline in visuospatial Working Memory (vWM) is a hallmark of cognitive aging across various tasks, and facing this decline has become the target of several studies. In the current study we tested whether older adults can benefit from task repetition in order to improve their performance in a vWM task. While learning by task repetition has been shown to improve vWM performance in young adulthood, little is known on whether a similar enhancement can be achieved also by the aging population. By combining different behavioral and electrophysiological measures, we investigated whether practicing a specific task (delayed match-to-sample judgement) over four consecutive sessions could improve vWM in healthy aging, and which are the neurophysiological and cognitive mechanisms modulated by learning. Behavioral data revealed that task repetition boosted performance in older participants, both in terms of sensitivity to change (as revealed by d' measures) as well as capacity estimate (as measured by k values). At the electrophysiological level, results indicated that only after task repetition both target individuation (as evidenced by the N2pc) and vWM maintenance (as reflected by the CDA) were modulated by target numerosity. Our results suggest that repetition learning is effective in enhancing vWM in aging and acts through modifications at different stages of stimulus processing.
Keywords
VISUAL WORKING-MEMORY, SHORT-TERM-MEMORY, CONTRALATERAL DELAY ACTIVITY, DOWN SUPPRESSION DEFICIT, NEURAL MEASURES REVEAL, AGE-DIFFERENCES, NORMATIVE VALUES, ADULT AGE, CAPACITY, MECHANISMS

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MLA
Tagliabue, Chiara F., et al. “Learning by Task Repetition Enhances Object Individuation and Memorization in the Elderly.” SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, vol. 10, no. 1, 2020, doi:10.1038/s41598-020-75297-x.
APA
Tagliabue, C. F., Assecondi, S., Cristoforetti, G., & Mazza, V. (2020). Learning by task repetition enhances object individuation and memorization in the elderly. SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, 10(1). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-75297-x
Chicago author-date
Tagliabue, Chiara F., Sara Assecondi, Giulia Cristoforetti, and Veronica Mazza. 2020. “Learning by Task Repetition Enhances Object Individuation and Memorization in the Elderly.” SCIENTIFIC REPORTS 10 (1). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-75297-x.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Tagliabue, Chiara F., Sara Assecondi, Giulia Cristoforetti, and Veronica Mazza. 2020. “Learning by Task Repetition Enhances Object Individuation and Memorization in the Elderly.” SCIENTIFIC REPORTS 10 (1). doi:10.1038/s41598-020-75297-x.
Vancouver
1.
Tagliabue CF, Assecondi S, Cristoforetti G, Mazza V. Learning by task repetition enhances object individuation and memorization in the elderly. SCIENTIFIC REPORTS. 2020;10(1).
IEEE
[1]
C. F. Tagliabue, S. Assecondi, G. Cristoforetti, and V. Mazza, “Learning by task repetition enhances object individuation and memorization in the elderly,” SCIENTIFIC REPORTS, vol. 10, no. 1, 2020.
@article{8694973,
  abstract     = {A decline in visuospatial Working Memory (vWM) is a hallmark of cognitive aging across various tasks, and facing this decline has become the target of several studies. In the current study we tested whether older adults can benefit from task repetition in order to improve their performance in a vWM task. While learning by task repetition has been shown to improve vWM performance in young adulthood, little is known on whether a similar enhancement can be achieved also by the aging population. By combining different behavioral and electrophysiological measures, we investigated whether practicing a specific task (delayed match-to-sample judgement) over four consecutive sessions could improve vWM in healthy aging, and which are the neurophysiological and cognitive mechanisms modulated by learning. Behavioral data revealed that task repetition boosted performance in older participants, both in terms of sensitivity to change (as revealed by d' measures) as well as capacity estimate (as measured by k values). At the electrophysiological level, results indicated that only after task repetition both target individuation (as evidenced by the N2pc) and vWM maintenance (as reflected by the CDA) were modulated by target numerosity. Our results suggest that repetition learning is effective in enhancing vWM in aging and acts through modifications at different stages of stimulus processing.},
  articleno    = {19957},
  author       = {Tagliabue, Chiara F. and Assecondi, Sara and Cristoforetti, Giulia and Mazza, Veronica},
  issn         = {2045-2322},
  journal      = {SCIENTIFIC REPORTS},
  keywords     = {VISUAL WORKING-MEMORY,SHORT-TERM-MEMORY,CONTRALATERAL DELAY ACTIVITY,DOWN SUPPRESSION DEFICIT,NEURAL MEASURES REVEAL,AGE-DIFFERENCES,NORMATIVE VALUES,ADULT AGE,CAPACITY,MECHANISMS},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {1},
  pages        = {12},
  title        = {Learning by task repetition enhances object individuation and memorization in the elderly},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-020-75297-x},
  volume       = {10},
  year         = {2020},
}

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