Background and aims; The aim of the present study was to examine whether deeper processing of words during encoding in middle-aged adults leads to a smaller increase in word-learning performance and a smaller decrease in retrieval effort than in young adults. It was also assessed whether high education attenuates age-related differences in performance. Methods: Accuracy of recall and recognition, and reaction times of recognition, after performing incidental and intentional learning tasks were compared between 40 young (25-35) and 40 middle-aged (50-60) adults with low and high educational levels. Results: Age differences in recall increased with depth of processing, whereas age differences in accuracy and reaction times of recognition did not differ across levels. High education does not moderate age-related differences in performance. Conclusions: These findings suggest a smaller benefit of deep processing in middle age, when no retrieval cues are available.
Meijer, W. A., van Gerven, P. W. M., de Groot, R. H. M., van Boxtel, M. P. J., & Jolles, J. (2007). The benefit of deep processing and high educational level for verbal learning in young and middle-aged adults. Aging clinical and experimental research, 19(5), 372-380. https://doi.org/10.1007/BF03324717