Aging and implicit learning of an invariant association

Darlene V. Howard, James H. Howard, Nancy A. Dennis, Sean LaVine, Kristin Valentino

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Scopus citations


We investigated whether there is an age-related decline in implicit learning of an invariant association. Participants memorized letter strings in which a given letter always occurred in the second position (see Frick & Lee, 1995). Experiments 1 and 2 showed that young and older adults learned this regularity implicitly, with no significant age differences, even when a perceptual feature of the stimuli changed between encoding and test. Experiment 3 confirmed that learning had occurred during encoding, in that learning increased with the number of encoding presentations. We conclude that implicit learning of this invariant association is largely preserved in healthy aging, revealing another avenue by which older people continue to adapt efficiently to environmental regularities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)P100-P105
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2008

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies


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