Aging and inhibition: Beyond a unitary view of inhibitory processing in attentione

A. F. Kramer, D. G. Humphrey, J. F. Larish, G. D. Logan, D. L. Strayer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The authors examined the question of whether a decrease in the efficiency of inhibitory processing with aging is a general phenomenon. Thirty elderly and 32 young adults performed a series of tasks from which the authors could extract measures of inhibitory function. The tasks and task components included response compatibility, negative priming, stopping, spatial precuing, Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST), and the Cognitive Failures Questionnaire (CFQ). Only limited evidence for age-related differences in inhibitory function was obtained. Old adults had more difficulty than young adults in stopping an overt response and adopting new rules in a categorization task. However, elderly and young adults produced equivalent negative;priming effects, response compatibility effects, spatial precuing effects, and self-reported cognitive failures. The findings are discussed in terms of the relationship between aging, inhibitory processes, and neuroanatomical and physiological function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)491-512
Number of pages22
JournalPsychology and aging
Issue number4
StatePublished - 1994
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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