Age differences in overlapping-task performance: Evidence for efficient parallel processing in older adults

Philip A. Allen, Lien Mei-Ching, Martin D. Murphy, Raymond E. Sanders, Katherine S. Judge, Robert S. McCann
2002 Psychology and Aging  
Two psychological refractory period (PRP) experiments were conducted to examine overlapping processing in younger and older adults. A shape discrimination task (triangle or rectangle) for Task 1 (T 1 ) and a lexical-decision task (word or nonword) for Task 2 (T 2 ) were used. PRP effects, response time for T 2 increasing as stimulus onset synchrony (SOA) decreased, were obtained for both age groups. The effect of word frequency on T 2 was smaller at the short SOA than at the long SOA,
more » ... slack effects, which were larger for older than younger adults in both experiments. These results suggest that older adults can perform lexical access of T 2 in parallel with the processing of T 1 at least as efficiently as younger adults.
doi:10.1037/0882-7974.17.3.505 fatcat:fz5kzh7jhzd73bvmjemulasw2m