The impact of sensory acuity, processing speed, and working memory capacity on auditory working memory span (L-span) performance at 5 presentation levels was examined in 80 young adults (18–30 years of age) and 26 older adults (60–82 years of age). Lowering the presentation level of the L-span task had a greater detrimental effect on the older adults than on the younger ones. Furthermore, the relationship between sensory acuity and L-span performance varied as a function of age and presentation level. These results suggest that declining acuity plays an important explanatory role in age-related declines in cognitive abilities.
from Psychology and Aging