Age-related deficits in context processing were examined in relationship to two predominant theories of cognitive aging (the Inhibitory Deficit and Processing Speed Models). Older and younger adults completed a measure of context processing (AX Continuous Performance Test (CPT) task) as well as a computerized battery of inhibitory tasks: Stroop, garden path sentences, go no-go, and the stop-signal paradigm. Participants also completed a simple processing speed task. After controlling for baseline differences in processing speed, age effects were detected on the AX-CPT. Smaller, but significant age effects were noted on the Stroop and stop-signal tasks, but no significant age effects were found on the garden path sentence and go no-go tasks. Intertask correlations were weak, providing little evidence for a homogenous or uniform construct of inhibition. The sensitivity of the AX-CPT to cognitive aging is discussed in the context of existing theories of cognitive aging. The authors suggest that deficits in context processing and utilization may underlie cognitive aging phenomena.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)588-610
Number of pages23
JournalAging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition
Issue number3-4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2006


Dive into the research topics of 'Accounting for cognitive aging: Context processing, inhibition or processing speed?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this