Recent evidence suggests that the frontal lobe plays an intimate role in the meditation of prospective memory (Shallice & Burgess, 1991; Cockburn, 1995). However, there is a paucity of studies linking damage to the frontal lobe to reduced efficacy of prospective memory. The present study attempts to examine three types of participants who differ in frontal lobe functioning and their relative levels of successful prospective memory. The participants consist of younger adults, older adults (55 and over) and individuals with frontal lobe damage determined by a CAT scan or MRI. All three groups will be given a computer-based general knowledge quiz that has two types of prospective memory tasks enmeshed within it: a time based, disembedded task and an event-based, embedded task. The latter necessitates higher attentional processing, requiring both selfinitiated retrieval and that the participant break attention from a previous task. The participants will also be given the Stroop test and the WCST which have been implicated as successful predictors of frontal lobe damage. The results indicated that the younger adults performed significantly better than the older adults on both types of prospective memory tasks. However, there was no correlation between the measures of frontal functioning and performance on the prospective memory task. The present study allows comparison of the' three separate groups with differing levels of frontal lobe damage, strengthening evidence for a frontal lobe involvement in the mediation of prospective memory. The results are discussed in reference to a possible mechanism for prospective memory related to the executive functioning of the frontal lobes.
Russell '97, Sara J., "The Roles of Age and Frontal Lobe Damage in Prospective Memory" (1997). Honors Projects. Paper 110.