Can emotional content reduce the age gap in visual working memory? Evidence from two tasks

Cognition and Emotion 31 (8):1676-1683 (2017)
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Abstract

Ageing is associated with declines in several cognitive abilities including working memory. The goal of the present study was to assess whether emotional information could reduce the age gap in the quantity and quality of representations in visual WM. Young and older adults completed a serial image recognition task and a colour-image binding task. Results of the SIR task showed worse performance for negative than neutral and positive images within the older group, hence enlarging the age gap in WM. In the CIB task, recall precision was lower in the old than young adults, showing an ageing decline in the quality of WM representations. Positive images tended to improve precision, but this boost was similar for both age groups. In sum, emotional content did not reduce the age gap in visual WM.

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