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Impact of Sensory Acuity on Auditory Working Memory Span in Young and Older Adults

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