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Three Changes in Attention, Memory and Perception

Aging brings consistent changes that affect human attention, memory, and perception. Basically, changes lead to the deterioration of attention, memory and perception.

First of all, it should be said that the attention of individuals declines and they cannot always focus on the specific subject or action they are performing (Ayers and Reder, 1998). For instance, the lack of attention is particularly dangerous when a person is driving and elderly people are often vulnerable to car accidents because of the poor attention and slow responses to changes on the road.

In fact, the slow-down of the response of an individual on the external environment is another change that occur in the course of aging (Bahrick, 1984). In fact, responses of an individual are slower and not so sharp as they used to be in the youth or in 20s-30s. Instead, individual may face problems with adequate assessment of the situation.

Finally, aging people face significant problems with retention of information. Often it is possible to observe elderly people who cannot keep facts or information in their memory even though they have just learned this information. In fact, the information seems to slip from their memory immediately and retention does not work well.


Ayers, M. S., and Reder, L. M. (1998). “A Theoretical Review of the Misinformation Effect: Predictions from an Activation-Based Memory Model.” Psychonomic Bulletin and Re-view 5:1 – 21.

Bahrick, H. P. (1984). “Semantic Memory Content in Permastore: Fifty Years of Memory for Spanish Learned in School.” Journal of Experimental Psychology: General 113:1 – 29.