The acquisition, utilization, and extension of a spatial mental model were assessed for young and older adults. The model consisted of a map with nine buildings. In acquisition, 91% of the young adults and 62% of the older adults were able to acquire the mental model as determined by a strict criterion. There were age differences in trials required to reach criterion. However, once acquired, the older adults were able to utilize their mental model as well as the young adults, with the exception of questions that were taxing on working memory. Both age groups were also able to extend their mental model to 16 buildings, and then utilize this extended model. Individual differences in working memory and fluid intelligence were related to successful acquisition of the mental model.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||Journals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences|
|State||Published - Jul 1999|
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Health(social science)
- Sociology and Political Science
- Life-span and Life-course Studies