Are there age-related differences in the effects of prior knowledge on learning? Insights gained from the memory congruency effect

  • Humans accumulate knowledge throughout their entire lives. In what ways does this accumulation of knowledge influence learning of new information? Are there age-related differences in the way prior knowledge is leveraged for remembering new information? We review studies that have investigated these questions, focusing on those that have used the memory congruency effect, which provides a quantitative measure of memory advantage because of prior knowledge. Regarding the first question, evidence suggests that the accumulation of knowledge is a key factor promoting the development of memory across childhood and counteracting some of the decline in older age. Regarding the second question, evidence suggests that, if available knowledge is controlled for, age-related differences in the memory congruency effect largely disappear. These results point to an age-invariance in the way prior knowledge is leveraged for learning new information. Research on neural mechanisms and implications for application are discussed.

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Author:Garvin BrodORCiDGND, Yee Lee ShingORCiDGND
Parent Title (English):Mind, brain, and education
Place of publication:Oxford [u.a.]
Document Type:Article
Date of Publication (online):2022/04/05
Date of first Publication:2022/04/05
Publishing Institution:Universit├Ątsbibliothek Johann Christian Senckenberg
Release Date:2022/04/27
Issue:online Version of Record before inclusion in an issue
Page Number:10
First Page:1
Last Page:10
Open Access funding enabled and organized by Projekt DEAL.
Early View: Online Version before inclusion in an issue
Institutes:Psychologie und Sportwissenschaften
Dewey Decimal Classification:1 Philosophie und Psychologie / 15 Psychologie / 150 Psychologie
3 Sozialwissenschaften / 37 Bildung und Erziehung / 370 Bildung und Erziehung
Licence (German):License LogoCreative Commons - Namensnennung 4.0