Metacognitive Monitoring in Visuospatial Working Memory.

Psychology and Aging (Impact Factor: 2.73). 06/2012; DOI: 10.1037/a0028556
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Research within the domain of spatial working memory has not conclusively determined whether age differences exist. Under some conditions, age-equivalence has been demonstrated for location information. Under other conditions, age-equivalence has been demonstrated for identity information. In three experiments, we examined identity memory, location memory, and their combination in a visuospatial working memory (VSWM) paradigm. Older and younger adults were compared. In addition, we examined metacognitive processes associated with each VSWM component. Results suggest an overall age-deficit in VSWM. Our results also suggest that location information may be less effortfully processed as compared to identity information. With regarding to metacognitive monitoring, we found age-equivalence for identity prediction accuracy and an age-related deficit in prediction accuracy for location information. The present study is the first to demonstrate both age-deficits and age-equivalence in metacognitive prediction accuracy within a working memory paradigm. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved).

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    ABSTRACT: Information processing is generally biased toward global cues, often at the expense of local information. Equivocal extant data suggests that arousal states may accentuate either a local or global processing bias, at least partially dependent on the nature of the manipulation, task, and stimuli. To further differentiate the conditions responsible for such equivocal results we varied caffeine doses to alter physiological arousal states and measured their effect on tasks requiring the retrieval of local versus global spatial knowledge. In a double-blind, repeated-measures design, non-habitual (Experiment 1; N = 36, M = 42.5 ± 28.7 mg/day caffeine) and habitual (Experiment 2; N = 34, M = 579.5 ± 311.5 mg/day caffeine) caffeine consumers completed four test sessions corresponding to each of four caffeine doses (0, 100, 200, 400 mg). During each test session, participants consumed a capsule containing one of the three doses of caffeine or placebo, waited 60 min, and then completed two spatial tasks, one involving memorizing maps and one spatial descriptions. A spatial statement verification task tested local versus global spatial knowledge by differentially probing memory for proximal versus distal landmark relationships. On the map learning task, results indicated that caffeine enhanced memory for distal (i.e., global) compared to proximal (i.e., local) comparisons at 100 (marginal), 200, and 400 mg caffeine in non-habitual consumers, and marginally beginning at 200 mg caffeine in habitual consumers. On the spatial descriptions task, caffeine enhanced memory for distal compared to proximal comparisons beginning at 100 mg in non-habitual but not habitual consumers. We thus provide evidence that caffeine-induced physiological arousal amplifies global spatial processing biases, and these effects are at least partially driven by habitual caffeine consumption.
    Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 01/2013; 7:694. · 2.91 Impact Factor

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