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Int Psychogeriatr. 2003 Mar;15(1):59-67.

Use of an external mnemonic to augment the efficacy of an internal mnemonic in older adults.

Author information

1
Palo Alto Veterans Affairs Health Care System, Palo Alto, California 94304, USA. johnbrooks@stanford.edu

Abstract

OBJECTIVES:

To evaluate the impact of external memory devices on the efficacy of a package of internal mnemonic techniques. Participants wrote two types of lists during the study phase: (a) a list of study words and/or (b) a loci list. At recall, participants were not allowed to refer to either of the lists they had written during the study.

DESIGN:

2 x 2 factorial with writing study words ("write" or "not write") and writing down a previously established loci list ("write" or "not write") manipulated as between-participants variables.

PARTICIPANTS:

68 community-dwelling adults 55 years of age and older who wished to improve their memory.

MEASUREMENTS:

Free word recall.

RESULTS:

There were statistically significant effects of writing the loci list, but not of writing the list of study words. Scores were higher when participants wrote the loci lists compared to when they did not.

CONCLUSIONS:

Use of external mnemonics may enhance the efficacy of internal mnemonics, even when the external mnemonic is not used at the time of recall.

PMID:
12834200
DOI:
10.1017/s1041610203008755
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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