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Task switching in old participants: A potential interplay between strategy and cognitive ability
Xu, Yiye1,2; Nyeong, Yeopham2; Yu, Sheng2; Yu, Yun3,8; Li, Bingxin4; Han, Chengyang5,6; Li, Xiangqian2,7
First AuthorXu, Yiye
Correspondent (x. li)
Contribution Rank4

Task-switching cost is highly reliable in old participants. However, in a Stroop-switching paradigm that compared old musicians with old non-musicians (Experiment 1A), task-switching costs were not consistent. For non-musicians, the task-switching costs were significant in the congruent and neutral trials, but not in the incongruent trials. For musicians, the task-switching costs disappeared completely. We suspected that besides following task rules, old participants might also apply a stimulus-based strategy called the target-first strategy. In Experiment 1B and 2, participants in Experiment 1A were invited again to perform two more Stroop-switching paradigms. To encourage the participants to use task rules, in Experiment 1B we removed the neutral trials but found the same results as in Experiment 1A. In Experiment 2, when inserting a cue-target interval in the Stroopswitching paradigm, both musicians and non-musicians produced reliable task-switching costs in all trial conditions. Note that younger participants had reliable task-switching costs in Experiment 1B and 2. We suggest that older participants preferred the target-first strategy to the task rules-based strategy because the former was easy to implant although it was less flexible. Besides task-switching costs, we found that old musicians had less interference effect than old non-musicians in Experiment 1B. In all three experiments, old musicians had shorter RTs than old non-musicians, which might be due to differences in strategies apart from cognitive abilities. We propose that without considering the strategy preference, some previous studies might misestimate the difference between old and young participants in terms of task-switching performance and interference control.

KeywordCognitive flexibility Aging Stimulus-response mapping Interference control Task-switching cost
Indexed BySCI
WOS Research AreaPsychology
WOS SubjectPsychology, Experimental
WOS IDWOS:000635735100003
Citation statistics
Document Type期刊论文
Corresponding AuthorLi, Xiangqian
Affiliation1.Shanghai Acad Social Sci, Inst Sociol, Shanghai, Peoples R China
2.Fudan Univ, Sch Social Dev & Publ Policy, Shanghai, Peoples R China
3.East China Normal Univ, Inst Int & Comparat Educ, Shanghai, Peoples R China
4.Chinese Acad Sci, Inst Psychol, Key Lab Behav Sci, Beijing, Peoples R China
5.Hangzhou Normal Univ, Coll Educ, Dept Psychol, Hangzhou, Peoples R China
6.Hangzhou Normal Univ, Coll Educ, Inst Brain Sci, Hangzhou, Peoples R China
7.Shanghai Univ Sport, Sch Psychol, Shanghai 200438, Peoples R China
8.Shanghai Normal Univ, Sch Educ, Shanghai, Peoples R China
Recommended Citation
GB/T 7714
Xu, Yiye,Nyeong, Yeopham,Yu, Sheng,et al. Task switching in old participants: A potential interplay between strategy and cognitive ability[J]. ACTA PSYCHOLOGICA,2021,214:16.
APA Xu, Yiye.,Nyeong, Yeopham.,Yu, Sheng.,Yu, Yun.,Li, Bingxin.,...&Li, Xiangqian.(2021).Task switching in old participants: A potential interplay between strategy and cognitive ability.ACTA PSYCHOLOGICA,214,16.
MLA Xu, Yiye,et al."Task switching in old participants: A potential interplay between strategy and cognitive ability".ACTA PSYCHOLOGICA 214(2021):16.
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