Dr. Lynn Hasher
Aging and Cognition Laboratory
Our laboratory studies the differences in basic cognitive processes (e.g., comprehension and attention) across the adult lifespan. We believe that an inhibition or suppression mechanism determines what we can attend to or ignore. This ability in turn influences what we can comprehend and remember. This viewpoint suggests that this inhibition mechanism may be less efficient in older adults. For example, reduced inhibition may be evidenced by increased distractibility and mild forgetfulness in older adults. Current research projects explore memory span, distractibility and attention, the effect of knowledge on decision-making, and the role of inhibition on what we can comprehend and remember. Our research aims to expand our understanding of the effect of aging on cognition. As well, we are interested in exploring ways in which inhibition problems actually improve the performance of older adults, and a number of such studies are underway.