Increased reaction times and reduced response preparation already starts at middle age

Ria Wolkorte, Janine Kamphuis, Inge Zijdewind*

*Bijbehorende auteur voor dit werk

    OnderzoeksoutputAcademicpeer review

    12 Citaten (Scopus)
    218 Downloads (Pure)

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    Generalized slowing characterizes aging and there is some evidence to suggest that this slowing already starts at midlife. This study aims to assess reaction time changes while performing a concurrent low-force and high-force motor task in young and middle-aged subjects. The high-force motor task is designed to induce muscle fatigue and thereby progressively increase the attentional demands. Twenty-five young (20-30 years, 12 males) and 16 middle-aged (35-55 years, 9 males) adults performed an auditory two-choice reaction time task (CRT) with and without a concurrent low- or high-force motor task. The CRT required subjects to respond to two different stimuli that occurred with a probability of 70 or 30%. The motor task consisted of index finger abduction, at either 10% (10%-dualtask) or 30% (30%-dual-task) of maximal voluntary force. Cognitive task performance was measured as percentage of correct responses and reaction times. Middle-aged subjects responded slower on the frequent but more accurately on the infrequent stimuli of CRT than young subjects. Both young and middle-aged subjects showed increased errors and reaction times while performing under dual-task conditions and both outcome measures increased further under fatiguing conditions. Only under 30%-dual-task demands, an age-effect on dual-task performance was present. Both single- and dual-task conditions showed that already at mid-life response preparation is seriously declined and that subjects implement different strategies to perform a CRT task.

    Originele taal-2English
    Artikelnummer79
    Aantal pagina's12
    TijdschriftFrontiers in Aging Neuroscience
    Volume6
    DOI's
    StatusPublished - 28-apr-2014

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