Aging, Imagery, and Imagery Vividness in Daydreams: Cross-Sectional and Longitudinal Perspectives
There are two salient components of mental imagery and aging: the spontaneous occurrence of images and the deliberate evocation and mental manipulation of images. Of specific interest in this study is the frequency, clarity and semblance to reality of visual and auditory images in daydreams as a function of age. When asked to use images to increase memory it has been generally shown that the elderly are capable of utilizing such a strategy (see Poon, Walsh-Sweeney, & Fozard for a review). However, Hulicka and Grossman (1967) have reported that the spontaneous use of visual imagery in memorization tasks is less likely to occur in the elderly as opposed to younger individuals. Hulicka and Grossman’s results have formed the basis for the frequent claim that the elderly are less likely than the young to have spontaneous imagery--see for example, Pierce & Storandt (1988) and Poon et al (1980). There does not appear to be any independent corroboration of Hulicka and Grossman’s claim. Indeed, Wood and Pratt (1987) have reported virtually the same percentage of subjects spontaneously using imagery in a memory task in both young (8%) and elderly (7%) subjects.
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