Working Memory and Aging: A Review

Monica Fabiani, Benjamin Zimmerman, Gabriele Gratton

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


In this chapter, we review research on the sensory and working memory changes that typically accompany normal aging, with the view that an examination of individual differences over the lifespan can illuminate some of the mechanisms underlying working memory processes. We also discuss the theoretical frameworks used to interpret these age-related changes and provide an integrated view encompassing both behavioral and brain imaging data. Behavioral data show age-related changes in both the maintenance and attention-control aspects of working memory, suggesting a balance change between the top-down and bottom-up processing streams. Brain imaging studies provide evidence for anatomical and functional changes in the brain networks associated with working memory and the top-down control of attention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationMechanisms of Sensory Working Memory
Subtitle of host publicationAttention and Perfomance XXV
PublisherElsevier Inc.
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9780128013717
ISBN (Print)9780128110430
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


  • Aging
  • Attention
  • Executive function
  • Neuroimaging
  • Working memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Medicine
  • General Neuroscience


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