Journal of Gerontology: PSYCHOLOGICAL SCIENCES
In this project we examined the effect of adult age on visual word recognition by using combined reaction time (RT) and accuracy methods based on the Hick–Hyman law. This was necessary because separate Brinley analyses of RT and errors resulted in contradicting results. We report the results of a lexical decision task experiment (with 96 younger adults and 97 older adults). We transformed the error data into entropy and then predicted RT by using entropy values separately for exposure duration (thought to influence peripheral processes) and word frequency (thought to influence central processes). For exposure duration, the entropy–RT functions indicate that older adults show higher intercepts and slopes than do younger adults, suggesting an encoding decrement for older adults. However, for word frequency, older adults show higher intercepts but not steeper slopes than younger adults. Older adults thus show a peripheral processing decrement but not a central processing decrement for lexical decision.
Allen, Philip A.; Murphy, Martin D.; Kaufman, Miron; Groth, Karen E.; and Begovic, Ana, "Age Differences in Central (Semantic) and Peripheral Processing: The importance of Considering Both Response Times and Errors" (2004). Physics Faculty Publications. 232.
This is a pre-copyedited, author-produced PDF of an article accepted for publication in Journal of Gerontology following peer review. The version of record Philip A. Allen et al., "Age Differences in Central (Semantic) and Peripheral Processing: The Importance of Considering Both Response Times and Errors," The Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences 59 (5), P210-P219 (2004). is available online at: http://psychsocgerontology.oxfordjournals.org/content/59/5/P210.long.