Erika Borella, Rossana De Beni

The basic mechanisms of cognition in normal aging: Working memory, inhibition and processing speed

  • Abstract

Informations and abstract

Keywords: normal aging, working memory, inhibition, processing speed.

Cognitive aging has been examined with two approaches: one that tries to identify age-reated differences between young and older adults on isolated and specific systems or mechanisms to process information; the other one that aims at identifying a limited number of factors able to account for age-related changes in normal aging. The aim of the present work is to review the most relevant studies that examined the role of working memory, cognitive inhibition, and processing speed in explaining age-related differences between young and older adults in cognitive performance. To date, while there is a general consensus among scholars on the conclusion that working memory and processing speed decline with age, for inhibition-related processes results are quite discordant. In this article, we discuss the importance of considering working memory, processing speed, and inhibition as mechanisms that are not independent from one another and we show that a global approach may improve our understanding of agerelated differences in cognition.

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