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Appears in Collections:Faculty of Social Sciences Journal Articles
Peer Review Status: Refereed
Title: How do we get there? Effects of cognitive aging on route memory
Author(s): O'Malley, Mary
Innes, Anthea
Wiener, Jan M
Keywords: Route learning
Cognitive impairment
Spatial memory
Atypical aging
Issue Date: Feb-2018
Date Deposited: 14-Nov-2017
Citation: O'Malley M, Innes A & Wiener JM (2018) How do we get there? Effects of cognitive aging on route memory. Memory and Cognition, 46 (2), pp. 274-284.
Abstract: Research into the effects of cognitive aging on route navigation usually focuses on differences in learning performance. In contrast, we investigated age-related differences in route knowledge after successful route learning. One young and two groups of older adults categorized using different cut-off scores on the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), were trained until they could correctly recall short routes. During the test phase, they were asked to recall the sequence in which landmarks were encountered (Landmark Sequence Task), the sequence of turns (Direction Sequence Task), the direction of turn at each landmark (Landmark Direction Task), and to identify the learned routes from a map perspective (Perspective Taking Task). Comparing the young participant group with the older group that scored high on the MoCA, we found effects of typical aging in learning performance and in the Direction Sequence Task. Comparing the two older groups, we found effects of early signs of atypical aging in the Landmark Direction and the Perspective Taking Tasks. We found no differences between groups in the Landmark Sequence Task. Given that participants were able to recall routes after training, these results suggest that typical and early signs of atypical aging result in differential memory deficits for aspects of route knowledge.
DOI Link: 10.3758/s13421-017-0763-7
Rights: © The Author(s) 2017 This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.
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