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Mem Cognit. 2000 Sep;28(6):1041-9.

Plan formation, retention, and execution in prospective memory: a new approach and age-related effects.

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  • 1University of Heidelberg, Germany.


Existing laboratory paradigms of prospective memory instruct subjects to remember to perform a single, isolated act at an appropriate point in the experiment. These paradigms do not completely capture many everyday complex prospective memory situations in which a series or set of delayed actions is planned to be executed in some subsequent period of time. We adapted a laboratory paradigm within which to study these prospective memory processes, and we investigated age-related influences on these prospective memory processes. Age-related declines were found in the planning, initiation, and execution of the set of tasks. In contrast, there were no age differences in plan retention or in the fidelity with which the plan was performed.

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