How Games Help Us Research Age-Related Memory Changes

Charlotte Ashton, Fiona McNab

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Working memory is the ability to hold information in our minds for a short time, often while we work on it. We need it for schoolwork, solving problems, and many aspects of life. Some people can hold more information in mind than others, and as we get older the amount we can hold tends to decline. If we understand what limits working memory and how working memory changes with age, we can figure out ways to improve it. A person’s ability to focus on relevant information and ignore distraction seems to be important. Our research group looked at how well people can ignore different types of distraction, which might limit their working memory. To sample a large number of people with a range of abilities, we used a game played by 29,631 people. The results gave us clues about how our ability to ignore distraction affects our working memory, and we identified a specific type of distraction that seems to particularly affect working memory in older adults.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1147170
JournalFrontiers for Young Minds
Publication statusPublished - 26 Jan 2024


  • working memory
  • distraction
  • ageing
  • gaming

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