R. T., Hasher, L., & Li, K. Z. H. (2000). Human memory. In T. A. Salthouse
& F. I. M. Craik (Eds.), Handbook of Aging and Cognition, 2nd Edition
(pp. 293-357). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum.
Excerpt from Introduction
of Chapter: Certain broad points of consensus are highlighted in
previous reviews of the aging and memory literature (e.g., Craik, 1977;
Craik, Anderson, Kerr, & Li, 1995; Craik & Jennings, 1992; Kausler,
1994; Light, 1991; A.D. Smith, 1996). For one, it is agreed that experimental
and psychometric findings indicate age-related decrements in the ability
to learn and remember. It is also agreed that not all types of memory
show equal age deficits. Memories that were well established earlier in
life and that are regularly retrieved (i.e., semantic memories and significant
autobiographical memories) frequently show minimal decrease in old age.
Even some forms of new memory formation (e.g., implicit learning and memory)
are relatively spared from aging decrements. Furthermore, there is consensus
that certain noncognitive and situational factors can modulate the degree
to which age decrements are seen in particular in memory tasks.
As a quick scan through aging journals and certainly cognitive journals
reveals, publications on aging and memory have been appearing at an accelerating
rate over the past 10 to 15 years. In this work, aging and memory researchers
have encompassed and built on theoretical concepts and methodologies that
originate in cognitive gerontology, as well as in mainstream cognitive
research, psychometric-individual difference work, and, increasingly,
cognitive neuropsychology. Not surprisingly, this gives rise to diverse
methods and to alternative explanatory frameworks. Although this is a
sign of the health and vibrancy of the field, it means that it is not
possible to attempt anything close to a comprehensive review of the literature.
Nor is it necessary. Several Excellent summaries of the literature have
been published in recent years. This chapter presents a selective review
emphasizing recent work on topics of current major interest in the field.
Our survey addresses age-related differences in memory performance in
healthy individuals. . . We begin with a brief overview of several important
theoretical-methodological approaches to the study of aging and memory.
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