Evidence for disproportionate dual-task costs in older adults for episodic but not semantic retrieval.

Leigh Riby, Timothy J. Perfect, Brian Stollery

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Previous research demonstrates that older adults are poor at dual tasking, but there is less agreement on whether their decrement is worse than that predicted from single‐task performance. This study investigated whether task domain moderates dual‐task costs in old age. In two experiments, young and older adults retrieved either previously learned associates (episodic retrieval) or overlearned category members (semantic retrieval) under single or working‐memory load conditions, using cued recall (Experiment 1) and recognition (Experiment 2) procedures. In both experiments the proportional costs of dual tasking were age invariant for semantic retrieval but were particularly marked for episodic retrieval, although the size of the age effect was reduced in recognition compared to cued recall. The data suggest that age effects in dual tasking may be domain specific.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)241-167
JournalThe Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology. Section A
Volume57
Issue number2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2004

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