Author(s): Robertson S, Myerson J, Hale S
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Abstract It has been suggested, primarily based on response time (RT) data, that there is an age-related increase in intraindividual variability. To determine whether older adults show more intraindividual variability in working memory (WM) performance, we had younger and older adults perform three verbal WM tasks of varying complexity as well as a same-different judgment RT task. For both groups, individual performance tended to be more variable on the two complex span tasks than on the simple span task. Although older adults showed greater variability on the RT task, consistent with previous studies, they did not show greater variability on any of the WM tasks. These findings fail to support theories of frontal lobe aging that predict greater moment-to-moment fluctuations in the performance of older adults.
This article was published in J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci
and referenced in Journal of Aging Science