Age-related differences in the acquisition, utilization, and extension of a spatial mental model

D. Kristen Gilbert, Wendy A. Rogers

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

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 languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)P246-P255
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Volume54
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1999

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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