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The Inner Workings of Working Memory:The Effects of Aging and Language Impairment on Tasks Examining Verbal Working Memory

Hayes, Rebecca A. (2011) The Inner Workings of Working Memory:The Effects of Aging and Language Impairment on Tasks Examining Verbal Working Memory. Undergraduate Thesis, University of Pittsburgh. (Unpublished)

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Wright et al. (2007) tested Persons with Aphasia (PWA) using three N-Back tasks featuring different types of linguistic information - phonological, semantic, and syntactic -- to determine whether Verbal Working Memory (VWM) is a single, united resource. The current study tested three PWA with the same tasks, as well as an additional vision-focused task, to expand on this previous research; two groups of cognitively normal individuals were tested using the same protocol to provide a baseline for comparison. Results from the unimpaired groups indicated no effects of aging, and significant differences in performance across all types of information except phonological and visual cues. Results from PWA were inconclusive. The N-Back task, however, was found to cause misleading patterns in accuracy scores for some tests; sensitivity scores are suggested as a better measure of performance on this testing paradigm.


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Item Type: University of Pittsburgh ETD
Status: Unpublished
CreatorsEmailPitt UsernameORCID
Hayes, Rebecca
ETD Committee:
TitleMemberEmail AddressPitt UsernameORCID
Committee ChairDickey, Michael Walshmdickey@pitt.eduMDICKEY
Committee MemberHarris Wright,
Committee MemberWarren, Tessa Ctessa@pitt.eduTESSA
Committee MemberHula, William Dwdh1@pitt.eduWDH1
Date: 9 May 2011
Date Type: Completion
Defense Date: 11 April 2011
Approval Date: 9 May 2011
Submission Date: 22 April 2011
Access Restriction: No restriction; Release the ETD for access worldwide immediately.
Institution: University of Pittsburgh
Schools and Programs: Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences > Communication Science and Disorders
David C. Frederick Honors College
Degree: BPhil - Bachelor of Philosophy
Thesis Type: Undergraduate Thesis
Refereed: Yes
Uncontrolled Keywords: aphasia; modularity; n back; persons with aphasia; verbal working memory; working memory
Other ID:, etd-04222011-092905
Date Deposited: 10 Nov 2011 19:41
Last Modified: 15 Nov 2016 13:42


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