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Aging effects and feasibility of statistical learning tasks across modalities

Authors
  • Schevenels, Klara; 116743;
  • Altvater-Mackensen, Nicole;
  • Zink, Inge; 11634;
  • De Smedt, Bert; 40938;
  • Vandermosten, Maaike; 48220;
Publication Date
Mar 04, 2023
Source
Lirias
Keywords
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Unknown
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Abstract

Knowledge on statistical learning (SL) in healthy elderly is scarce. Theoretically, it is not clear whether aging affects modality-specific and/or domain-general learning mechanisms. Practically, there is a lack of research on simplified SL tasks, which would ease the burden of testing in clinical populations. Against this background, we conducted two experiments across three modalities (auditory, visual and visuomotor) in a total of 93 younger and older adults. In Experiment 1, SL was induced in all modalities. Aging effects appeared in the tasks relying on an explicit posttest to assess SL. We hypothesize that declines in domain-general processes that predominantly modulate explicit learning mechanisms underlie these aging effects. In Experiment 2, more feasible tasks were developed for which the level of SL was maintained in all modalities, except the auditory modality. These tasks are more likely to successfully measure SL in elderly (patient) populations in which task demands can be problematic. / status: published

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