Welcome to the
WoMAAC Memory Challenges
Thank you for agreeing to take part!
Please note: you will need a desktop or laptop computer — not a mobile phone or tablet — to participate in this experiment
The WoMAAC Memory Challenges are designed to help us understand how memory changes from childhood through to old age.
The challenges have been designed to appeal to people of all ages and backgrounds. They should be challenging and fun for adults, while also being suitable for young people. All you need is to be fairly fluent in English, and to have a motivation to find out more about how your brain works.
You can take part completely anonymously. At no time will you be asked to provide your name, email address, or anything else that could identify you. But you will be asked some other information about yourself to help with the research on memory and age.
Please read the information below carefully before clicking "OK" to continue.
About the experiment
The challenges have been designed as part of a large international research project to help understand how memory changes from childhood through to healthy old age. There are hints from previous research that some aspects of memory actually get better as we get older, while other aspects start to decline in the early 20s, even for healthy young adults. The researchers want to find out if this is true, and if it is, then which aspects of our mental abilities are affected by age, and which are not. The puzzles and memory challenges have been set up by leading memory scientists from the UK (University of Edinburgh), the USA (University of Missouri-Columbia), and Switzerland (Universities of Fribourg and Geneva).
Please note that the tests are designed for research on memory and how it changes with healthy aging. None of the tests are designed to detect memory problems, and none of the researchers can provide health advice. If you are concerned about your memory, then you should consult your GP or another health professional.
What will the challenges involve?
You will be presented with a series of memory challenges and puzzles to complete.
There will be detailed instructions before each challenge, and a chance to practice before doing each challenge for real. You will find that some of the challenges will be fairly easy, and others will be more difficult. The research would not be worth doing if everyone got everything correct, so the memory challenges and puzzles are designed so that no-one can be completely correct on everything. So do not worry if you make mistakes!
Also, because the challenges are about memory and how it changes with age, it is important that you do the challenges on your own, and using only your own memory. So, please do not be tempted to ask someone to help, or to write things down. You are free to stop doing the challenges and puzzles at any time.
The research has been approved by the Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences Research Ethics Committee of the University of Edinburgh, and follows international guidelines for ethics regarding research involving human volunteers.
The results will be analysed anonymously as part of an international research project on Working Memory Across the Adult Life span. By clicking "OK" below, you consent to your results being used in this way. Further details about the project are available at http://womaac.psy.ed.ac.uk/. The results of the analyses will be used for presentations at conferences and in potential scientific publications. The anonymous results will also be available to other researchers via the Open Science Framework (https://osf.io).
We will NOT ask for any information that can identify you such as you name or email address, so your participation will be completely anonymous. (We do ask for an email address if you want to enter the raffle. See the 'Raffle' section below.)
We hope that you will be happy to tell us your age, your native language, the country you live in, and your education. This information is needed for us to find out how memory changes with age, if it is affected by native language, or by education. We also are interested to know the range of countries from which people participate. If you do not wish to provide this information, you can still do the challenges, but your results will not be included in the research on memory.
Please note that, because the data are stored anonymously, we will not be able to identify your results for deletion if you later decide that you do not wish your results to be used in the research.
At the very end, you will be given the option to enter your email address for a chance to win either a £100, or one of five £20 Amazon vouchers. This draw is organised to thank you for your participation in this study which helps advance our knowledge of memory.
Your email address will not be linked to your experiment results, and will not be used for research or shared in any way. Entering the raffle is completely optional.
By clicking on the "OK" button below, you confirm that you have read and understood the information above, and give consent for your anonymous results to be included in the research project on how memory changes with age.
The challenges are suitable for people of any age, but if you are under 16 years of age, please confirm that your parent or guardian has read and understood the information above and has agreed that you can take part before clicking "OK".
Thank you for taking an interest and hope you enjoy the challenges.
Click "OK" to begin.