Encyclopedia of Gerontology and Population Aging

Living Edition
| Editors: Danan Gu, Matthew E. Dupre

Prospective Memory in Older Adults

  • Deirdre M. SheaEmail author
  • Adam J. Woods
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-69892-2_712-1



Prospective memory (PM) refers to the ability to perform a previously planned action or intention at a given time (time-based PM) or after a specific event (event-based PM) (Brandimonte et al. 2014). Examples of this may include remembering to take medication at a certain time every night (i.e., time-based), remembering to make doctors’ appointments (event-based), or remembering to pick something up from the grocery store on your way back from a friend’s house (i.e., event-based). This ability contrasts with retrospective memory ability – the ability to retrieve or recognize previously acquired information (e.g., phone numbers, details of a past event). The difference between retrospective memory and prospective memory could be characterized by the way in which information is retrieved. Retrospective memory is externally prompted, whereas PM relies heavily on...

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© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Center for Cognitive aging and Memory, Department of Aging and Geriatric ResearchMcNight Brain Institute, University of FloridaGainesvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of Clinical and Health PsychologyUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Adam J. Woods
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Center for Cognitive aging and Memory, Department of Aging and Geriatric Research, McNight Brain InstituteUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA
  2. 2.Department of NeuroscienceUniversity of FloridaGainesvilleUSA