The Development of Prospective Memory Across Adolescence: A Behavioural and Event-Related Potential Analysis
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Remembering to carry out a planned intention in some point in the future (e.g., pass a message to a friend) is an important cognitive function vital for day-to-day functioning. This cognitive function is referred to as Prospective memory (PM) and is considered to be essential for autonomous behaviour. Although there has been extensive research into the decline of PM in older adulthood, little is known about the developmental trajectory of PM throughout adolescence, a time of important brain maturation. Research in the development of PM across adolescence has been limited, and the previous studies that have examined PM development in adolescents have yielded inconsistent findings. Therefore in the present thesis, the development of PM was examined in 85 participants across the following groups: 12- to 13-year-olds (n = 22), 14- to 15-year-olds (n = 23), 16- to 17-year-olds (n = 20), and 18- to 19-year-olds (n = 28). A series of three studies were conducted to examine the specific processes that contribute to PM development in adolescence. The aim of Study 1 was to examine the development of PM across adolescence using an event-based PM task that varied in cue frequency. More specifically, a 6-cue (10 min) and a 30-cue (30 min) event-based PM task (with font-colour stimuli as PM cues) and a lexical-decision for the ongoing task were used. By manipulating the cue frequency, this study could clarify the basis of any observed age-related difference of PM performance in adolescence. In addition, a retrospective memory (RM) task (viz., Hopkins Verbal Learning Test Revised [HVLT-R]) was administered to see if RM and PM have a different developmental trajectory in adolescence.
Thesis (PhD Doctorate)
Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)
School of Applied Psychology
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Prospective memory across adolescence