Effects of Perceptually Based Noise and Distortion on Memory in Older Adults
In our increasingly industrial and crowded society, people are almost always working and living in the presence of unwanted noise. The negative impact of this noise on processing information becomes more noticeable as individuals grow older, in part as a result of age-related hearing and vision loss. In addition to these perceptual difficulties, older adults often report difficulty in remembering information. Recent research has identified a link between perceptual processes such as hearing and vision and cognitive processes, such as memory and understanding conversations. These studies are aimed at exploring the link between perceptual and memory processes in order to determine how much of the age-related cognitive differences can be traced to perceptual difficulties and how much should be attributed to other causes. The approach will be to measure, control, and manipulate encoding effort and determine its effect on memory performance. To accomplish this, various amounts of visual and auditory noise will be added to stimuli and individual identification functions will be created. Memory performance will be predicted from the identification functions. Because of the complex interrelation of perceptual and cognitive factors, computer simulation models will be used to describe the contributions of each factor further. The data collected will help focus the research agenda on those factors that are critical to strategies to overcome the difficulties posed by growing older. The long-term goal of these studies is to develop a formal, quantitative model of memory that will allow researchers and practitioners to pinpoint the areas of functioning that are critical to efficient cognitive processing. Determining the causes of age-related cognitive declines will become more and more important in Newfoundland and Labrador, as the percentage of the population over the age of 65 is projected by Statistics Canada to almost double by the year 2031.
01 Jan 2007
31 Dec 2011
Strategic Research Theme
Well-being, Health and Biomedical Discovery