ISSN 0439-755X
CN 11-1911/B

心理学报 ›› 2010, Vol. 42 ›› Issue (06): 640-650.

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  1. (1认知神经科学与学习国家重点实验室, 北京师范大学, 北京 100875) (2应用实验心理北京市重点实验室, 北京师范大学,
    北京 100875) (3儿童发展和学习科学教育部重点实验室, 东南大学, 南京 210096)
  • 收稿日期:2009-10-15 修回日期:1900-01-01 发布日期:2010-06-30 出版日期:2010-06-30
  • 通讯作者: 周仁来

Age-related Declines in Prospective Memory: Modulation of the Prospective and Retrospective Components

CHEN Si-Yi;ZHOU Ren-Lai   

  1. (1 State Key Laboratory of Cognitive Neuroscience and Learning, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China)
    (2 Beijing Key Lab of Applied Experimental Psychology, Beijing Normal University, Beijing 100875, China)
    (3 Key Laboratory of Child Development and Learning Science, Southeast University, Ministry of Education, Nanjing 210096, China)
  • Received:2009-10-15 Revised:1900-01-01 Online:2010-06-30 Published:2010-06-30
  • Contact: ZHOU Ren-Lai

摘要: 关注事件性前瞻记忆的年老化, 采用基于双重任务的实验室研究范式, 实验一控制线索与意向的关联性和线索的显著性操纵概念驱动加工和数据驱动加工过程, 比较前瞻记忆的前瞻成分和回溯成分的年老化影响; 实验二检验前瞻成分在前瞻记忆年老化中的作用。结果显示, 线索与意向的关联性和线索与背景的区别性作为概念驱动加工和数据驱动加工的重要表现形式可以显著地促进老年人的前瞻记忆水平, 前瞻记忆年老化主要存在于前瞻记忆的前瞻成分; 前瞻成分较高的注意资源需求导致前瞻记忆的年龄差异主要受任务的认知需求水平所影响, 当前瞻记忆是相对自动加工时, 年龄差异小; 当任务需要较多的控制加工时, 年龄差异相对较大。本研究进一步揭示了导致前瞻记忆年龄差异的原因。

关键词: 事件性前瞻记忆, 前瞻成分, 回溯成分, 年龄差异

Abstract: Prospective memory (PM) is defined as remembering to remember or remembering to perform an intended action, which requires to form and later realize intentions that must be delayed for minutes, hours, or days, such as remembering to take medication with a meal, or to turn off the stove after cooking. Prospective memory is important in our everyday life, especially to those old people with declined (i.e., less efficient) cognitive functions. Better prospective memory performance can help old people maintain their independent lives and improve their quality of life. So the present study focused on the age difference in an event-based prospective memory task. Regarding the internal mechanism of age differences in PM, two contradictive perspectives were proposed: the age deficits exist in prospective component VS in retrospective component. Noticing-search model (Einstein & McDaniel, 1996) suggested that the PM deficit in old people came from the searching process. On the other hand, Smith and Bayen (2006) applied a formal multinomial processing tree model of PM and indicated that the deficit existed in the process of recognizing target cues, which was resource-demanding. The present study evaluated the two perspectives and further investigated the related cognitive mechanism using a classic paradigm where the prospective memory task was embedded in a semantic categorization task.
60 young (29 females) and 60 old adults (26 females) participated experiment 1 voluntarily. The experiment compared the effect of age on the prospective component and the retrospective component of PM, manipulating semantic relatedness between cue and intention, and the distinctiveness of the cue. Young adults performed better than old adults in both the prospective component and retrospective component, but the effect size of age was larger in prospective component. When the relatedness was high or the cue was distinctive, old adults performed as well as young adults, however, it showed age deficits when the relatedness was low or the cue was indistinguishable.These findings suggest that both data-driven and conceptually driven processes can improve old people’s memory for intentions greatly.
Another 68 young (37 females) and 68 old adults (46 females) participated in Experiment 2. The experiment examined the effect of prospective component on the age difference in prospective memory by reducing the demand of retrospective component and manipulating the cognitive resources of prospective memory. Main effect of age, the distractive level of divided attention and the distinctiveness of the target cue were all found in the accuracy of prospective memory. Both the response time of ongoing and PM tasks had a significant decline in the older adults compared to the young ones. Significant age deficits were found when the target was indistinguishable. And the high distractive level task made old adults’ performance even worse.
To be summarized, the aging of PM is modulated both by data-driven and conceptually driven processes. Compared to retrospective component, the age effect in PM is greater on the prospective component. The cognitive load in the task influences the age effect in PM since the prospective component is resource-demanding. The age effect is more obvious when the PM task needs more strategic control than automatically processed. These results further reveal the cause of the reasons for age differences in prospective memory.

Key words: event-based prospective memory, prospective component, retrospective component, age difference