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Reaction Time, Age, and Cognitive Ability: Longitudinal Findings from Age 16 to 63 Years in Representative Population Samples

Reaction Time, Age, and Cognitive Ability: Longitudinal Findings from Age 16 to 63 Years in Representative Population Samples,10.1080/1382558059096923

Reaction Time, Age, and Cognitive Ability: Longitudinal Findings from Age 16 to 63 Years in Representative Population Samples   (Citations: 18)
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Reaction time variables are used widely in studies of human cognitive ageing and in research on the information processing foundations of psychometric intelligence. The research is largely based on biased population samples. In the present study, large (500+), representative samples of the population of the West of Scotland were tested at ages 16, 36 and 56 years on simple and choice reaction time. Participants were re-tested eight years later, at which time they also took the Paced Auditory Serial Addition Test (PASAT). We report simple and choice reaction time means and their variabilities, their stability across 8 years, and their correlations with the PASAT. Simple and choice reaction times become slower and more variable with age. Women from age 36 to 63 show more variability in choice reaction times than men, an effect which remains after controlling for mean reaction time. Reaction time differences largely account for age differences, but not sex differences, in PASAT scores.
Journal: Aging Neuropsychology and Cognition - AGING NEUROPSYCHOL COGN , vol. 12, no. 2, pp. 187-215, 2005
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    • ...Reaction times— especially choice reaction times—show marked slowing with age, which begins from young adulthood and accelerates after middle adulthood (Deary & Der, 2005a; Der & Deary, 2006)...
    • ...For example, when we reviewed the literature on something as straightforward as reaction time and age, it was remarkable that each study had used a different reaction time procedure, making comparisons difficult or impossible (Deary & Der, 2005a; Der & Deary, 2006)...
    • ...The numbers reaction time box was employed for comparison, because there is much previous information about it: it has been used in large, epidemiological surveys in the UK, and its parameters’ associations with age, intelligence and mortality are known and replicated (Cox, Huppert, & Whittington, 1993; Deary et al., 2001; Deary & Der, 2005a, 2005b; Der & Deary, 2006; Huppert & Whittington, 1993; Shipley et al., 2006)...
    • ...Simple reaction time measures have lower associations with other variables generally, the distribution of simple reaction time means is less normal and the bivariate distribution with intelligence more problematic (Der & Deary, 2003), and simple reaction time standard deviations (intraindividual variability) have lower reliability here and elsewhere (Deary & Der, 2005a)...

    Ian J. Dearyet al. A free, easy-to-use, computer-based simple and four-choice reaction ti...

    • ...These task measures have been shown to be reliable over a 1-day test interval with an average test–retest correlation of .63 reported (Deary & Der, 2005a, 2005b)...

    Michelle Lucianoet al. Cognitive Ability at Age 11 and 70 Years, Information Processing Speed...

    • ...Using the United Kingdom’s standard sixcategory grouping of occupations, the sample was divided, from most professional to most manual, as follows: Class I 47, Class II 156, Class IIIN 108, Class IIIM 227, Class IV 98, and Class V 43. As described elsewhere, the sample is unusually valuable in being representative of the background population (Deary & Der, 2005a, Table 1). The mean age of the sample at Wave 1 was 56.1 (N 679, SD 0.6, ...
    • ...As described previously, only those participants with fewer than 10 incorrect responses in the four-choice reaction time test were used in the present analyses (Deary & Der, 2005a)...
    • ...It had been hypothesized that as processing efficiency deteriorates from age 56 onwards, which it does (Deary & Der, 2005a; Der & Deary, 2006), it would lead the decline in verbal and numerical reasoning...
    • ...The participants had experience of the reaction time device for only three brief periods: at Waves 1, 3 (the Wave 3 reaction time data were not included here; participants did not take AH4 at this time; see Deary & Der, 2005a), and 4, each for about 10–15 min...

    Ian J. Dearyet al. Smarter in Middle Age, Faster in Old Age: A Cross-Lagged Panel Analysi...

    • ...Previous research also suggests greater within-subject variability on choice reaction time tasks for older adults as compared to younger adults (Deary & Der, 2005; Der & Deary, 2006)...

    Cynthia M. Goochet al. Evidence for Age-related Changes to Temporal Attention and Memory from...

    • ...(1999) and other similar studies (Deary & Der, 2005; Der & Deary, 2006)...

    Connie A. Tompkinset al. Activation and maintenance of peripheral semantic features of unambigu...

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