CIGEV, area gerontology: Research on Lifespan, Multidirectionality and Plasticity – Director: Matthias Kliegel

Cognitive Control Development


The project targets the development of prospective memory, the memory for future intentions. A specific focus is at understanding mechanisms that underlie age-related prospective memory, in particular the impact of cognitive control processes to monitor for the target cue. Central questions are: Is there a monitoring deficit in older adults that could explain reduced prospective memory performance? Are older adults able to strategically invest cognitive control according to contextual cues? How do different monitoring requirements interact with other target- and task-specific characteristics, executive demands, personality traits, as well as contextual cues such as stress and emotions?


Different experimental studies are conducted in this project, testing younger and older adults. Among others, eye tracking methods are employed.

Selected publications

  • Ballhausen, N., Schnitzspahn, K., Horn, S. S., & Kliegel, M. (2017). The interplay of intention maintenance and cue monitoring in younger and older adults’ prospective memory. Memory and Cognition, 45(7), 1113-1125. doi:10.3758/s13421-017-0720-5
  • Kliegel, M., Ballhausen, N., Hering, A., Ihle, A., Schnitzspahn, K., & Zuber, S. (2016). Prospective memory in older adults: Where we are now and what is next. Gerontology, 62, 459-466. doi:10.1159/000443698
  • Ballhausen, N., Rendell, P. G., Henry, J. D., Joeffry, S., & Kliegel, M. (2015). Emotional valence differentially affects encoding and retrieval of prospective memory in older adults. Aging Neuropsychology and Cognition, 22(5), 544-559. doi:10.1080/13825585.2014.1001316