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L'effet paradoxal du vieillissement sur la mémoire prospective : hypothèses explicatives

Abstract : Prospective memory is a complex cognitive function requiring to remember a planned action. For example, this function is particularly important for elderly people to remember taking medication at the appropriate time. The comparison of the performance of old and young peoples on different prospective memory tasks led to two contradictory results, a configuration that has been dubbed "age-prospective memory-paradox". The first set of results of the age-prospective memory-paradox configuration is in keeping with the effects of aging on cognitive functioning, older peoples generally performing less well than younger peoples on laboratory prospective memory tasks. The second set of results is at odds with the first one, as older peoples generally perform better than younger peoples on naturalistic prospective memory tasks. The aim of the present paper is to expose the main explanatory hypotheses of the age related deficit on laboratory prospective memory tasks in one hand and on the age related benefit on naturalistic prospective memory tasks on the other hand. Concerning laboratory prospective memory tasks, the main hypothesis is that the detrimental effect of age would be principally due to negative influence of age on executive control processes and retrospective memory processes involved in this kind of tasks. With respect to naturalistic prospective memory tasks, a higher motivational level and the fact that older people have more frequently recourse to external memory aids and to compensation strategies could explain the better results of older people.
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Barbara Azzopardi, Caroline Auffray, Jacques Juhel. L'effet paradoxal du vieillissement sur la mémoire prospective : hypothèses explicatives. Gériatrie et Psychologie Neuropsychiatrie du Vieillissement, John Libbey Eurotext, 2015, 13 (1), pp.64-72. ⟨10.1684/pnv.2014.0513⟩. ⟨hal-01897684⟩

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