Published online by Cambridge University Press: 30 November 2019
This chapter reviews normal aging-related changes in memory processes, including short-term or working memory and episodic and semantic long-term memory. Definitions of the boundaries of normal vs. pathological long-term memory changes with advancing age are provided, including Benign Senescent Forgetfulness, Age Associated Memory Impairment, and Mild Cognitive Impairment. Memory decline is contrasted with decline in other cognitive processes, including processing speed and spatial cognition. Aging-related decline is similar for verbal and visual long-term memory, including more traditional memory measures such as list-learning, and for tests that are designed to simulate everyday memory abilities such as name–face association. Aging-related decline in long-term memory appears to be a function of the amount initially learned, with little evidence of accelerated forgetting in association with normal advancing age. Recognition performance remains high and relatively stable over successive age cohorts. Last, the factor structure of measures of short- and long-term memory, as well as episodic and semantic memory, supports the differentiation of these constructs and shows stability of these unique domains across the adult age range.
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