Document Detail

Age-related differences in performance and stimulus processing in dual task situation.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  21871612     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Competition for limited processing resources is most critical in dual-tasks which incorporate cognitive and motor demands. Performance is usually diminished with increasing age in such tasks. This decline is relevant for activities in real life like driving. In the present study we aim to examine if there are age-related differences in stimulus processing in a dual-task and if these differences have an impact on performance of a driving-like tracking task. Young and older participants performed a dual-task consisting of a tracking task and a visual attention task. Alongside, the EEG was recorded for calculating the P300 (P3) of the event-related potential as a reflection of controlled stimulus processing. In the visual attention task older vs. young participants showed more misses and false alarms. For young participants the P3 shows an expected pattern of higher amplitudes for relevant compared to irrelevant stimuli. This was not found for the older participants. A general age-related decline in tracking performance was relatively more pronounced if a secondary motor response was required in the visual attention task and also after irrelevant stimuli. The results suggest that older compared to young participants had greater difficulties to differentiate between relevant and irrelevant stimuli in a dual-task situation as they probably apply comparable attentional resources to all stimuli. This may also explain the higher error rates. These results have important implications for the understanding of age-related stimulus processing in dual and multi task situations in real life as for instance driving.
Melanie Hahn; Nele Wild-Wall; Michael Falkenstein
Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2011-7-30
Journal Detail:
Title:  Brain research     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1872-6240     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2011 Jul 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2011-8-29     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0045503     Medline TA:  Brain Res     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Copyright Information:
Copyright © 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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