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Type: Journal article
Title: Age-related differences in sequence learning: findings from two visuo-motor sequence learning tasks
Author: Urry, K.
Burns, N.
Baetu, I.
Citation: British Journal of Psychology, 2018; 109(4):830-849
Publisher: Wiley
Issue Date: 2018
ISSN: 0007-1269
Statement of
Kristi Urry, Nicholas R. Burns and Irina Baetu
Abstract: The Serial Reaction Time Task (SRTT) is thought to assess implicit learning, which seems to be preserved with age. However, the reaction time (RT) measures employed on implicit-like tasks might be too unreliable to detect individual differences. We investigated whether RT-based measures mask age effects by comparing the performance of 43 younger and 35 older adults on SRTT and an explicit-like Predictive Sequence Learning Task (PSLT). RT-based measures (difference scores and a ratio) were collected for both tasks, and accuracy was additionally measured for PSLT. We also measured fluid abilities. The RT-difference scores indicated preserved SRTT and PSLT performance with age and did not correlate with fluid abilities, while ratio RT and the accuracy-based measures indicated age-related decline and correlated with fluid abilities. Therefore, RT-difference scores might mask individual differences, which compromises the interpretation of previous studies using SRTT.
Keywords: ageing; implicit learning; reaction time; sequence learning; serial reaction time
Rights: © 2018 The British Psychological Society
RMID: 0030084450
DOI: 10.1111/bjop.12299
Appears in Collections:Psychology publications

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