Aging and visual feature binding in working memory

Richard J. Allen, Louise A. Brown, Elaine Niven

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

17 Citations (Scopus)
15 Downloads (Pure)


This chapter examines the question of how the features or elements (e.g. shape, color, or spatial location) of a stimulus that is encountered in the visual environment are bound together in working memory to form an integrated representation. We first briefly review recent research on this topic in healthy young adults, examining the factors that determine successful encoding and retention in working memory. A particular focus of the chapter concerns how this key cognitive process (or set of processes) might vary as a function of healthy cognitive aging, and of neuropsychological disorders typically associated with aging (e.g. Alzheimer's disease). It appears that while older adults typically show associative deficits in long-term memory, age-related binding deficits in working memory are somewhat inconsistent in nature, and may depend to some extent on the form of binding being examined.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationWorking Memory
Subtitle of host publicationDevelopmental Differences, Component Processes and Improvement Mechanisms
EditorsHelen St. Clair-Thompson
Place of PublicationHauppauge, NY
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2013


  • aging
  • working memory
  • visual feature binding
  • shape
  • spatial location
  • color
  • features
  • elements


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