Background: Generally, older adults perform worse than younger adults in complex working memory span tasks. So far, it is unclear which processes mainly contribute to age-related differences in working memory span. Objective: The aim of the present study was to investigate age effects and the roles of proactive and coactive interference in a recognition-based version of the operation span task. Methods: Younger and older adults performed standard versions and distracter versions of the operation span task. At retrieval, participants had to recognize target words in word lists containing targets as well as proactive and/or coactive interference-related lures. Results: Results show that, overall, younger adults outperformed older adults in the recognition of target words. Furthermore, analyses of error types indicate that, while younger adults were only affected by simultaneously presented distracter words, older adults had difficulties with both proactive and coactive interference. Conclusion: Results suggest that age effects in complex span tasks may not be mainly due to retrieval deficits in old age.

This content is only available via PDF.
Copyright / Drug Dosage / Disclaimer
Copyright: All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be translated into other languages, reproduced or utilized in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, microcopying, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the publisher.
Drug Dosage: The authors and the publisher have exerted every effort to ensure that drug selection and dosage set forth in this text are in accord with current recommendations and practice at the time of publication. However, in view of ongoing research, changes in government regulations, and the constant flow of information relating to drug therapy and drug reactions, the reader is urged to check the package insert for each drug for any changes in indications and dosage and for added warnings and precautions. This is particularly important when the recommended agent is a new and/or infrequently employed drug.
Disclaimer: The statements, opinions and data contained in this publication are solely those of the individual authors and contributors and not of the publishers and the editor(s). The appearance of advertisements or/and product references in the publication is not a warranty, endorsement, or approval of the products or services advertised or of their effectiveness, quality or safety. The publisher and the editor(s) disclaim responsibility for any injury to persons or property resulting from any ideas, methods, instructions or products referred to in the content or advertisements.
You do not currently have access to this content.