The influence of age and sex on memory for a familiar environment

Jamie I. Campbell, Ilana J. Hepner*, Laurie A. Miller

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    17 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    The influences of age and/or sex on topographical memory for one's hometown have rarely been explored. Sixty-three healthy adults (aged 20-79) living in the Sydney region completed the Sydney City Test of Topographical Memory. Subtests included landmark identification, map labelling, route recall and two measures of heading orientation (determining cardinal direction and determining perspective - the direction of a non-visible landmark from a particular vantage point). A curvilinear relationship was found for men on both heading orientation tasks, with highest performance at middle-age. For women, a negative linear relationship was found between age and perspective responses. Covarying recent exposure to the city did not change these results, however covarying mental rotation and spatial span ability abolished the differences related to sex and age on perspective judgements. The findings indicated that age and sex have an impact on heading orientation, but not on other facets of topographical memory for familiar environments.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)1-8
    Number of pages8
    JournalJournal of Environmental Psychology
    Volume40
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Dec 2014

    Keywords

    • Age differences
    • Heading orientation
    • Landmark naming
    • Retrograde memory
    • Sex differences
    • Topographical memory

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