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Previous investigations into the workings of memory usually tested epi

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Previous investigations into the workings of memory usually tested epi [#permalink]

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New post 08 Feb 2018, 13:52
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Previous investigations into the workings of memory usually tested episodic memory, which describes the recall of specific events, as well as the ability to remember names and the whereabouts of items like car keys. This ability usually remains intact until the mid-sixties, when people often become forgetful of things like recent events and minor details. While some researchers suggest that this well-known decline in episodic memory in the elderly stems from degeneration of the frontal lobes of the brain, many scientists believe that such memory loss is largely due to retirement: after the demands of work stop, most people no longer exercise their mental faculties as strenuously. Thus, regular mental ―exercise‖ might curtail memory loss.

But episodic memory comprises only part of this intricate brain function. Memory researchers have identified two other types of memory, neither of which seems to deteriorate with age. New studies suggest that we have more than one kind of memory, and imply that elderly people who suffer from forgetfulness can utilize other types of memory to compensate for the decline.

This new conception of memory stems from a shift in methodology of memory research. While older studies of memory and aging involved comparisons between different age groups, recent investigations tested the same group of people over a number of years. Such longitudinal data more clearly establishes the relationship between memory and aging. Through these studies of older adults, researchers concluded that there exist three major kinds of memory, only one of which declines in old age.

Semantic memory, which describes our ability to recall knowledge and facts as well as events in the distant past, does not seem to lessen over the course of a lifetime. In fact, such memory may be even sharper in elderly people than in the young or middle-aged. When a group of men and women in their sixties were tested on a specific vocabulary list and retested on the same list a decade later, the group had improved their scores by an average of six words—an increase researchers consider substantial. Such studies suggest that by taking notes or mulling over events, elderly people who suffer from forgetfulness can store more information in the semantic memory, thus compensating for episodic memory loss.

Implicit memory deals with the tremendous variety of mental activities we perform without making any intentional effort. Examples of these include actions like driving a car, touch-typing, or riding a bicycle. In a particular study, an amnesiac patient who had been an avid golfer before developing a memory problem remembered which club to use for each stroke; however, he forgot that he had played a hole within minutes of having done so.

In addition, further studies of amnesiacs have shown that people with these disorders can learn new facts but cannot remember when and where they had learned them. Studies of people in their sixties and seventies showed similar results: like amnesiacs, older people are able to learn from new experience as well as younger people, but often have difficulty remembering the source of their knowledge or skill. While the findings are encouraging, it must be noted that such studies do not deal with memory problems associated with illness, disease, or injury to the brain.

1. Based on the information in the passage, the author implies that advanced age might adversely affect which of the following?

I. Memory of details of a recent conversation
II. Recollection of childhood memories
III. Ability to perform routine tasks

A. I only
B. II only
C. III only
D. I and II only
E. I, II and III


2.With regard to new research into memory and the various points brought up in the passage, the author‘s attitude might be described as one of:

A. unbridled enthusiasm.
B. wary skepticism.
C. reserved optimism.
D. unbiased objectivity
E. unreserved joy



3. The primary purpose of the passage is to:

A. discuss the ways in which a new theory of memory challenges common assumptions regarding memory and aging.
B. explain why past investigations into memory tested only episodic memory.
C. describe recent research into the functioning of the brain.
D. consider the reasons why episodic memory diminished in later years.
E. describe two new types of memory


4. Based on the information in the passage, the author would probably agree with which of the following statements regarding memory problems associated with illness, disease, or injury?

A. Since many elderly suffer from such organic dysfunctions, memory research remains more theoretical than practical.
B. Scientists do not anticipate that these studies will contribute to our understanding of these disorders as well.
C. It is likely that researchers will turn toward these more critical problems in the near future.
D. Since such disorders do not conform to the tripartate model of memory, most researchers are not interested in them
E. These problems can be resolved by conducting more in-depth research into the different memory types

[Reveal] Spoiler: Question #1 OA
[Reveal] Spoiler: Question #2 OA
[Reveal] Spoiler: Question #3 OA
[Reveal] Spoiler: Question #4 OA

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Re: Previous investigations into the workings of memory usually tested epi [#permalink]

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New post 14 Feb 2018, 14:53
Very interesting text.

Took me around eight minutes to answer 3/4 question correct. I found the last question to be the hardest, because it was more of an implication as the focus of the text was a different one.
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Re: Previous investigations into the workings of memory usually tested epi   [#permalink] 14 Feb 2018, 14:53
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Previous investigations into the workings of memory usually tested epi

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