Speed of processing versus dual-tasking in ageing using a motor-free paradigm.
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Age effects on dual-task costs and speed of processing were investigated on young, middle and old participants. Dual-tasking literature debates the presence of an age-related dual task decline in older adults and we hope to investigate the possibility of a dual-task cost. Literature on speed of processing is more consistent, there is a reported decline in processing speed with age. The participants in the present study were individually titrated and completed a Delayed Digit Span task and a Visual Inspection Task; these were then combined for the dual task. The results showed there was a significant decline in speed of processing for the older adults and this supported our first hypothesis that speed of processing is subject to age-related decline. The results showed no marked decline in dual-task performance for the older adults and this did not support our second hypothesis, age is not a factor in dual-tasking ability. The results suggest that a lack of individual titration previously may have resulted in dual-task decrements. Future research should focus on a speeded reaction time for processing speed and completing two Dual Tasks and averaging the scores to allow for more accurate results.