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See detailInvestigation of age-related differences in an adapted Hayling task
Tournier, Isabelle UL; Postal, Virginie; Mathey, Stéphanie

in Archives of Gerontology & Geriatrics (2014), 59

The Hayling task is traditionally used to assess activation and inhibitory processes efficiency among various populations, such as elderly adults. However, the classical design of the task may also ... [more ▼]

The Hayling task is traditionally used to assess activation and inhibitory processes efficiency among various populations, such as elderly adults. However, the classical design of the task may also involve the influence of strategy use and efficiency of sentence processing in the possible differences between individuals. Therefore, the present study investigated activation and inhibitory processes in aging with two formats of an adapted Hayling task designed to reduce the involvement of these alternative factors. Thirty young adults (M = 20.7 years) and 31 older adults (M = 69.6 years) performed an adapted Hayling task including a switching block (i.e., unblocked design) in addition to the classical task (i.e., blocked design), and the selection of the response between two propositions. The results obtained with the classical blocked design showed age-related deficits in the suppression sections of the task but also in the initiation ones. These findings can be explained by a co-impairment of both inhibition and activation processes in aging. The results of the unblocked Hayling task, in which strategy use would be reduced, confirmed this age-related decline in both activation and inhibition processes. Moreover, significant correlations between the unblocked design and the Trail Making Test revealed that flexibility is equally involved in the completion of both sections of this design. Finally, the use of a forced-response choice offers a format that is easy to administer to people with normal or pathological aging. This seems particularly relevant for these populations in whom the production of an unrelated word often poses problems. [less ▲]

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See detailThe association between routinization and cognitive resources in later life
Tournier, Isabelle UL; Mathey, Stéphanie; Postal, Virginie

in International Journal of Aging & Human Development (2012), 74

The aim of this study was to investigate the association between routinization of daily life activities and cognitive resources during aging. Routinization could increase excessively during aging and ... [more ▼]

The aim of this study was to investigate the association between routinization of daily life activities and cognitive resources during aging. Routinization could increase excessively during aging and become maladaptative in reducing individual resources. Fifty-two young participants (M = 20.8 years) and 62 older participants (M = 66.9 years) underwent a routinization scale and cognitive tasks of working memory, speed of processing, and attention. Results revealed that older adults presented a decrease on the three cognitive measures but no change on the routinization score. While no association was observed between routinization and cognitive measures for the young adults, a high routinization was associated with lower cognitive flexibility in the older adults. These findings are interpreted in the light of theories about the positive impact of variety in daily life environment on cognitive functions. [less ▲]

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