New ACL Publication: Open Psychology

“Strategy-adaptation memory training: predictors of older adults’ training gains.”

Over the past decades, memory training interventions have been developed in an attempt to stabilize or enhance memory functioning in aging. Only recently has attention been paid to individual differences in training gains and consequently to predictors of such gains. The aim of the present study was to identify which specific cognitive mechanisms/processes or components of the intervention were responsible for the desired change and which individuals were more responsive to memory strategic training. Eighty-one older adults (aged 55 to 82) were involved in a four-session strategy-adaptation training based on a learner-oriented approach that has previously been found to be effective in improving memory performance in practiced and untrained tasks. Results showed that baseline performance in memory tasks predicted the gains in the practiced task. Baseline performance in memory tasks and other cognitive variables, such as working memory, processing speed, and verbal knowledge predicted transfer effects. Interestingly, we found that the magnitude of training gain on the associative memory practiced task predicted the gains in the transfer tasks, suggesting those who best implemented the targeted strategies during training realized greater transfer to other tasks. Our study shows that older adults with larger cognitive resources will benefit more from interventions focused on the generalization via active processes.

Cavallini, E., Bottiroli, S., Dunlosky, J., Ambiel, E., Lux, A., & Hertzog, C. (2019). Strategy-adaptation memory training: predictors of older adults’ training gains. Open Psychology, 1(1), 255-272.