Frontal Lobe Involvement in a Task of Time-Based Prospective Memory
Committee ChairGlisky, Elizabeth L.
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PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractTime-based prospective memory has been found to be negatively affected by aging, possibly as a result of the declining frontal function that often accompanies aging. In the present study we investigated the role of the frontal lobes in prospective memory. Based upon their scores on a composite measure of frontal function, 32 older adults were characterized as possessing high- or low-frontal function, and were then tested on a time-based laboratory prospective memory task. Overall age effects were also assessed and each of the frontal groups was compared to a group of 32 younger adults. High-frontal functioning participants demonstrated better prospective memory than low-frontal functioning participants, and were not distinguishable from younger adults. The results of this study suggest that it is not aging per se that disrupts prospective memory performance, but it is instead the diminished frontal function seen in a subset of older adults.