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Age-related differences on cognitive overload in an audio-visual memory task

Murray, Jennifer; Thomson, Mary E.


Mary E. Thomson


The present study aimed to provide evidence outlining whether the type of stimuli used in teaching would provoke differing levels of recall across three different academic age groups. One hundred and twenty-one participants, aged 11–25 years, were given a languagebased memory task in the form of a wordlist consisting of 15 concrete and 15 abstract words, presented either visually, acoustically, or a combination of both audio and visual presentation. The study found that the presence of cognitive overload was greater in the older academic age participants than in the younger groups and that as academic experience increased, the visual presentation of the target stimuli produced greater levels of recall than was the case with acoustic and audio-visual presentation. Overall the findings indicate that cognitive overload increases with age, as the younger-age groups were found to have significantly higher levels of word recall in the audio-visual condition than the older groups.

Journal Article Type Article
Online Publication Date Jun 25, 2010
Publication Date 2011-03
Deposit Date Feb 16, 2015
Publicly Available Date Feb 16, 2015
Print ISSN 0256-2928
Electronic ISSN 1878-5174
Publisher BMC
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 26
Issue 1
Pages 129-141
Keywords Cognitive overload; Audio-visual memory; Recall; Ageing
Public URL
Publisher URL
Contract Date Feb 16, 2015