Allison Lamont

Doctor of Philosophy, (Psychology)
Study Completed: 2007
College of Humanities & Social Sciences


Thesis Title
Cross-sectional and Longitudinal Analyses of the Effects of Aging on Memory in Healthy Young, Middle-Aged, and Oldest-Old Adults

Read article at Massey Research Online: MRO icon

Ms Lamont’s research investigated multiple memory systems across the lifespan, with particular emphasis on our oldest-old citizens - those in their late ninth and tenth decades of life. A sample of 126 healthy, community-dwelling young, middle-aged, and oldest-old (85 years and over) adults completed a comprehensive memory test on two occasions. Results were analysed cross-sectionally at each test wave, and longitudinally over the two-year inter-test interval. Although different types of memory are differentially affected by aging, the results showed a sharp, nonlinear drop in memory after the age of 85 years, even for healthy adults without dementia or illness. Verbal and nonverbal recall, working memory, and prospective memory were most affected. This has implications for the continued independence of adults of very advanced age, and long-term planning for this fast-growing sector of the New Zealand population.

Associate Professor John Podd
Associate Professor Julie Bunnell
Dr Stephen Hill

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