Archives of Scientific Psychology

This dataset is made available in connection to an article in Archives of Scientific Psychology, the first open-access, open-methods journal of the American Psychological Association (APA). Archiving and dissemination of this research is part of APA's commitment to collaborative data sharing.

Visuospatial Bootstrapping: Aging and the Facilitation of Verbal Memory by Spatial Displays (ICPSR 36132)

Principal Investigator(s): Calia, Clara, Queen Margaret University (Edinburgh); Darling, Stephen, Queen Margaret University (Edinburgh); Allen, Richard, University of Leeds; Havelka, Jelena, University of Leeds


Recent studies on verbal immediate serial recall show evidence of the integration of information from verbal and visuospatial short-term memory with long-term memory representations. Verbal serial recall is improved when the information is arranged in a familiar spatially distributed pattern, such as a telephone keypad. This pattern, termed 'Visuospatial Bootstrapping' is consistent with the existence within working memory of an episodic buffer (Baddeley, 2000). The present experiment aimed to investigate whether similar results would be obtained in a sample of older adults. Older (55-76) and younger (19-35) adults carried out visual serial recall in three visual display conditions that have previously been used to demonstrate visuospatial bootstrapping. Results demonstrated better performance when digits were presented in a typical telephone keypad display. Although digit serial recall declined with age, this visuospatial bootstrapping effect did not differ in size between older and younger adults. Theoretical and practical implications of these results are described.

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  • This dataset is part of ICPSR's Archives of Scientific Psychology journal database. Users should contact the Editorial Office at the American Psychological Association for information on requesting data access.


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Study Description


Calia, Clara, Stephen Darling, Richard Allen, and Jelena Havelka. Visuospatial Bootstrapping: Aging and the Facilitation of Verbal Memory by Spatial Displays. ICPSR36132-v1. Ann Arbor, MI: Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research [distributor], 2015-04-27.

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Scope of Study

Subject Terms:    adults, aging, cognitive functioning, cognitive processes, memory, older adults, young adults

Smallest Geographic Unit:    city

Geographic Coverage:    Italy

Time Period:   

  • 2013-01--2014-11

Unit of Observation:    individual

Universe:    Older and younger adults.

Data Type(s):    experimental data


Sample:    Convenience sampling was used. See Calia et al (in press), 'Visuospatial bootstrapping: aging and the facilitation of verbal memory by spatial displays'. Archives of Scientific Psychology.

Weight:    The data are not weighted.

Mode of Data Collection:    cognitive assessment test

Response Rates:    Not recorded/not available.

Presence of Common Scales:    MMSE; Raven's Colored Progressive Matrices (RCPM); WAIS digits-forward; WAIS digits-backward; Corsi Blocks Task; Visual Patterns task.


Original ICPSR Release:   2015-04-27

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