University Of Tasmania
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Influence of cognitive functioning on age-related performance declines in visuospatial sequence learning

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-05-19, 05:52 authored by Kruger, M, Mark HinderMark Hinder, Rohan PuriRohan Puri, Jeffery SummersJeffery Summers

Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate how age-related performance differences in a visuospatial sequence learning task relate to age-related declines in cognitive functioning.

Method: Cognitive functioning of 18 younger and 18 older participants was assessed using a standardized test battery. Participants then undertook a perceptual visuospatial sequence learning task. Various relationships between sequence learning and participants’ cognitive functioning were examined through correlation and factor analysis.

Results: Older participants exhibited significantly lower performance than their younger counterparts in the sequence learning task as well as in multiple cognitive functions. Factor analysis revealed two independent subsets of cognitive functions associated with performance in the sequence learning task, related to either the processing and storage of sequence information (first subset) or problem solving (second subset). Age-related declines were only found for the first subset of cognitive functions, which also explained a significant degree of the performance differences in the sequence learning task between age-groups.

Discussion: The results suggest that age-related performance differences in perceptual visuospatial sequence learning can be explained by declines in the ability to process and store sequence information in older adults, while a set of cognitive functions related to problem solving mediates performance differences independent of age.


Publication title

Frontiers in Psychology



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School of Psychological Sciences


Frontiers Research Foundation

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Rights statement

Copyright 2017 Krüger, Hinder, Puri and Summers. Licensed under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)

Repository Status

  • Open

Socio-economic Objectives

Health related to ageing