Exploring the relationship between age, executive abilities, and psychomotor speed

Beth K Rush, Desirée A. White

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

77 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Age-related declines in executive abilities have been widely reported and are thought to result from neuropathological changes in the prefrontal cortex. Some investigators have suggested that age-related changes in cognition may be the result of slowed information processing speed rather than declines in specific cognitive abilities. We examined the relationships among age, executive abilities, and psychomotor speed in 40 older adults and 46 young adults. Both verbal and nonverbal tasks were administered that measured 2 aspects of executive ability: set formation and set shifting. Executive and psychomotor speed tasks were paired based on similarities in basic task demands. Our results revealed that poorer executive performance was associated with increasing age. Further, although psychomotor speed attenuated the relationship, age accounted for a unique and significant proportion of variance in executive performance after controlling for psychomotor speed. These results suggest that age has an effect on prefrontally mediated executive abilities that cannot be explained solely in terms of psychomotor slowing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)76-82
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of the International Neuropsychological Society
Volume6
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 2000
Externally publishedYes

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Aptitude
Prefrontal Cortex
Automatic Data Processing
Cognition
Young Adult
Research Personnel

Keywords

  • Aging
  • Executive ability
  • Prefrontal cortex
  • Psychomotor speed

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Psychology(all)

Cite this

Exploring the relationship between age, executive abilities, and psychomotor speed. / Rush, Beth K; White, Desirée A.

In: Journal of the International Neuropsychological Society, Vol. 6, No. 1, 01.2000, p. 76-82.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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