Allowing brief delays in responding improves event-based prospective memory for young adults living with HIV disease

Shayne Loft, K.L. Doyle, S. Naar-King, A.Y. Outlaw, S.L. Nichols, E.P.S. Weber, K.B. Casaletto, Steven Woods

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

© 2014 Taylor & Francis. Event-based prospective memory (PM) tasks require individuals to remember to perform an action when they encounter a specific cue in the environment, and they have clear relevance for daily functioning for individuals with HIV. In many everyday tasks, not only must the individual maintain the intent to perform the PM task, but the PM task response also competes with the alternative and more habitual task response. The current study examined whether event-based PM can be improved by slowing down the pace of the task environment. Fifty-seven young adults living with HIV performed an ongoing lexical decision task while simultaneously performing a PM task of monitoring for a specific word (which was focal to the ongoing task of making lexical decisions) or syllable contained in a word (which was nonfocal). Participants were instructed to refrain from making task responses until after a tone was presented, which occurred at varying onsets (0-1600 ms) after each stimulus appeared. Improvements in focal and nonfocal PM accuracy were observed with response delays of 600 ms. Furthermore, the difference in PM accuracy between the low-demand focal PM task and the resource-demanding nonfocal PM task was reduced by half across increasingly longer delays, falling from 31% at 0-ms delay to only 14% at 1600-ms delay. The degree of ongoing task response slowing for the PM conditions, relative to a control condition that did not have a PM task and made lexical decisions only, also decreased with increased delay. Overall, the evidence indicates that delaying the task responses of younger HIV-infected adults increased the probability that the PM relevant features of task stimuli were adequately assessed prior to the ongoing task response, and by implication that younger HIV infected adults can more adequately achieve PM goals when the pace of the task environment is slowed down.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)761-772
JournalJournal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology
Volume36
Issue number7
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2014

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