Visual Recognition Memory Test Performance was Improved in Older Adults by Extending Encoding Time and Repeating Test Trials

Chalermsiri Theppitak, Viet Lai, Hiroyuki Izumi, Yoshiyuki Higuchi, Ganga Kumudini, Mehrnoosh Movahed, Masaharu Kumashiro, Nobuhiro Fujiki
2014 Journal of Occupational Health  
Aging of the population has increased due to the decline in fertility rate and increase in life expectancy in Japan. In 2006, the labor force participation rate of older workers aged 60 and older was reached to 30.2% 1) . Memory functions such as storing and retrieving recent information from memory correctly are very important in our daily lives and work. They allow or guide us to make a decisions or form responses in a proper way in ever-changing environments. A decline in visual memory,
more » ... visual memory, especially in the manufacturing industry, would be very critical to workers, as the workplace requires them to process lots of visual information with considerable speed. Additionally, it is suggested that the memory performance in older people is lower compared with that of young people when faced with new and/or complex information 2) . One of the methods of evaluating the memory performance is the recognition memory test 3) . In this test, a participant is asked to remember a set of items for a certain period of time; this is referred to as the encoding phase. Later, the same items as those presented in the encoding phase (old items) and a new set of items are shown to the participant in a random order. The participants are asked to indicate if each item is an old (yes) or a new (no) item by retrieving the information from their stored memories (test phase). The researcher then calculates the hit rate (yes response to the old item) and false alarm rate (yes response to the new item) and also estimates the individual's discrimination ability (ability to discriminate between old and new items) and response bias scores (a decision criterion to apply when responding to the items) 3) . Researchers have used this method to evaluate the memory performance of different groups of participants under various conditions. As we age, our visual memory declines; it is Abstract: Visual Recognition Memory Test Performance was Improved in Older Adults by Extending Encoding Time and Repeating Test Trials: Chalermsiri THEPPITAK, et al. Department of Ergonomics, University of Occupational and Environmental Health, Japan-Objectives: The aim of this study was to investigate whether the combination of extension of the encoding time and repetition of a test trial would improve the visual recognition memory performance in older adults. Methods: We evaluated visual memory performance in young and older adults on a Yes-No recognition memory test under four different conditions. The conditions consisted of combinations of encoding times of two and four seconds (E2 and E4) and first and second retrieval practice test trials (T1 and T2): E2T1, E2T2, E4T1 and E4T2. Performance was evaluated by measuring hit rates, false alarm rates, discrimination ability and response bias. Results: Older adults showed better improvement of hit rate and discrimination ability under the E4T2 conditions whereas young adults showed better memory performance under the E2T2 conditions. Conclusions: A longer encoding time and repetition of the test was effective in improving the visual memory performance in terms of the hit rates and discrimination ability of older adults. The results suggest that this strategy should be useful in providing a suitable work environment for older workers. (J Occup Health 2014; 56: 453-460)
doi:10.1539/joh.14-0021-oa pmid:25374421 fatcat:7ovcroicunfvxhxaqi5tmjoree