Place learning in real and computer-generated space: Performance of younger and older adults
AuthorLaurance, Holly Elizabeth
AdvisorJacobs, W. Jake
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractIn accordance with spatial mapping theory and findings from the Morris Water Maze (WMW), we predicted that older humans would differ from younger humans on a place learning task. Using a computerized version of the MWM entitled the Computer-Generated Arena, we compared performance of adults 22-29 years of age (yoa) with adults 64-81 yoa. We found that 22-29 yoa adults located an invisible target more quickly and accurately than 64-81 yoa adults. Additionally, removing sets of distal stimuli severely disrupted performance in 64-81 yoa adults, but not 22-29 yoa adults. In a post C-G Arena puzzle task, both groups of adults accurately recreated the spatial configurations of stimuli, but the 64-81 yoa adults did not place the target accurately within that space. This suggests that 64-81 yoa adults can accurately map a novel space but may not be able to place learn. These results correlate highly with performance in a real-world MWM task testing the same population.
Degree ProgramGraduate College