On Monday, April 1, Nate Rose, will be talking about some of the research from his Cognitive Neuroscience of Memory and Aging Lab at CBBSG 12-1pm in Corbett E378. Details about his talk are below. Free food for attendees will be served from 11:50 am.
Remembering to Remember: Effects of Age, Age-Related Neuropathology, and Some Real-World Tips to Enhance Prospective Memory
Remembering to remember to perform intended actions at the appropriate moment in the future--termed prospective memory--is critical for successfully performing tasks such as remembering to take medications, perform health-related behaviors, and turn off appliances at the appropriate moment, and is, therefore, vital for daily life and functional independence. In this talk I will review the research that my colleagues and I have been conducting over the past 20 years to both elucidate the effects that healthy aging and age-related neuropathology has on various aspects of prospective memory functioning, and identify ways to enhance prospective memory functioning. Results have revealed important differences based on the types of cues (event- or time-based), task-regularity (habitual vs. irregular), task-context (abstract lab-based tasks vs. naturalistic tasks performed in the real world or in virtual environments), and associations with age and individual differences in cognitive abilities (e.g., working memory, vigilance), as well as personality traits. I will also review our various attempts at enhancing prospective memory functioning in young and older adults, including patients with early Alzheimer's Disease, using memory encoding strategies, a cognitive training program, or noninvasive brain stimulation. Finally, I will also review the pattern of age differences across lab-based and real-world contexts that, for the past 20 years, has been described as "paradoxical". Although many moderating variables such as age differences in motivation and lifestyle have been revealed as key contributors, the body of evidence is pointing towards the difference being a real developmental phenomenon. I will briefly review the ways in which we are now trying to solve this "paradox" using immersive virtual reality gameplay and by designing ecologically valid tasks to understand how prospective memory works in the real world and why it fails, as in the case of the "forgotten baby syndrome". I argue for an approach that incorporates both basic cognitive neuroscience research and ecologically-valid assessments to both advance theory and develop translational applications for treatments.