Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Answer isn't always on the 'tip of the tongue' for older adults

Date:
June 15, 2012
Source:
University of Michigan
Summary:
Has your memory failed you today, such as struggling to recall a word that's "on the tip of your tongue?" If so, you're not alone.

as your memory failed you today, such as struggling to recall a word that's "on the tip of your tongue?" If so, you're not alone.

Related Articles


New University of Michigan research indicates that "tip-of-the-tongue" errors happen often to adults ages 65-92. In a study of 105 healthy, highly-educated older adults, 61 percent reported this memory mishap.

The study's participants completed a checklist of the memory errors made in the last 24 hours, as well as several other tests. About half of them reported making other errors that may be related to absent-mindedness, such as having to re-read a sentence because they forgot what it said, or forgetting where they placed an item.

The findings, which appear in the journal Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition, may help brain-training programs target the memory problems people experience in daily life.

"Right now, many training programs focus on the age differences in memory and thinking that we see in laboratory studies," said Cindy Lustig, U-M psychology professor and the study's senior author. "However, those may not translate to the performance failures that are most common in everyday life."

When people are tested in the lab and have nothing to rely on but their own memories, young adults typically do better than older adults, she said. However, when these studies are conducted in real-world settings, older adults sometimes outperform young adults at things like remembering appointments because the former are likely to use memory supports such as calendars, lists and alarms.

"When we looked at how people performed on standard laboratory tests, we found the usual age differences," she said. "People in their 80s and 90s performed worse than those in their 60s and early 70s."

In contrast, no increase in daily memory errors was found based on age.

Meanwhile, researchers hope that a better understanding of the errors people are still making can improve training program efforts.

"We wanted to identify which errors still occur despite changes people might be making in their environment and routine," Lustig said. "That's where it may be especially important to change the person."

Lustig cautioned that an elderly person occasionally forgetting a name does not mean he's in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease or other dementias.

"Everybody forgets," she said. "However, our findings suggest that certain types of memory errors may be especially important to monitor for increases, which then should be discussed with a clinician."

Lustig said future research should identify how people change their lives to avoid errors. If people restrict their activities to avoid memory errors, it could affect their independence.

The National Institute on Aging funded the study.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Michigan. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Lynn Osshera, Kristin E. Flegala & Cindy Lustiga. Everyday memory errors in older adults. Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition, 13 Jun 2012 DOI: 10.1080/13825585.2012.690365

Cite This Page:

University of Michigan. "Answer isn't always on the 'tip of the tongue' for older adults." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 15 June 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120615204739.htm>.
University of Michigan. (2012, June 15). Answer isn't always on the 'tip of the tongue' for older adults. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120615204739.htm
University of Michigan. "Answer isn't always on the 'tip of the tongue' for older adults." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/06/120615204739.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Health & Medicine News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

IKEA Desk Converts From Standing to Sitting With One Button

Buzz60 (Oct. 24, 2014) IKEA is out with a new convertible desk that can convert from a sitting desk to a standing one with just the push of a button. Jen Markham explains. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

Ebola Protective Suits Being Made in China

AFP (Oct. 24, 2014) A factory in China is busy making Ebola protective suits for healthcare workers and others fighting the spread of the virus. Duration: 00:38 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

WHO: Millions of Ebola Vaccine Doses by 2015

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) The World Health Organization said on Friday that millions of doses of two experimental Ebola vaccines could be ready for use in 2015 and five more experimental vaccines would start being tested in March. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

Doctor in NYC Quarantined With Ebola

AP (Oct. 24, 2014) An emergency room doctor who recently returned to the city after treating Ebola patients in West Africa has tested positive for the virus. He's quarantined in a hospital. (Oct. 24) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Health & Medicine

Mind & Brain

Living & Well

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins