Visual and semantic support for paired-associates recall in young and older adults.

The Journal of genetic psychology

PubMedID: 9255961

Sharps MJ, Antonelli JR. Visual and semantic support for paired-associates recall in young and older adults. J Genet Psychol. 1997;158(3):347-55.
A paired-associates task was used to investigate the degree to which young and older adults benefit from visual and semantic support for recall. Respondents were asked to recall pictorial or verbal items that were either semantically related or unrelated. As has been previously observed in spatial memory tasks, older adults benefited to a greater degree from pictorial materials than did young adults, but only for semantically related items. No such effect was observed for unrelated items. In a second experiment, the imposition of a speed requirement at retrieval eradicated the unequal recall facilitation effect for the older participants. The results of this study are consistent with Craik's (1986) environmental support theory and suggest a link between visuospatial loss and cognitive speed loss in the normal aging process.