The effects of aging on time reproduction in delayed free-recall

Rakitin, Brian C.; Stern, Yaakov; Malapani, Chariklia

The experiments presented here demonstrate that normal aging ampliWes diVerences in time production occurring in delayed freerecall testing. Experiment 1 compared the time production ability of two healthy aged groups as well as college-aged participants. During the test session, which followed a 24-h delay and omitted all feedback and examples of the two target intervals, the two groups of aged participants’ over-produced a 6 s interval. This eVect is similar in form to errors shown by young participants, but twice the magnitude. Productions of a 17 s interval were generally accurate overall. However, further analysis indicated that the majority of aged participants over-produced the 17 s interval while a minority greatly under-produced the 17 s interval. Furthermore, aged participants showed violations of the scalar property of timing variability in the training session, while in the test session, only those who under-produced the 17 s interval showed this tendency. In contrast, training session performance was good for all participants. Experiments 2 and 3 investigated the ability of the participants in Experiment 1 to reproduce the length of a line from memory, under conditions analogous to those of the time production experiments. These experiments provided tests of the speciWcity of the errors observed in Experiment 1. Performance in the older participants was accurate, if more variable, compared to the young participants, in contrast to the time production results, indicating that production inaccuracy in free-recall is speciWc to interval timing in the current context.



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Brain and Cognition

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February 11, 2022