The authors examined whether the learning and performance of dual tasks by young and old adults could be enhanced through training. Adults were trained with either a fixed-priority or variable-priority training strategy on a monitoring task and an alphabet-arithmetic task and then transferred to a scheduling and a paired-associates running memory task. Participants in the variable-priority condition learned the monitoring and alphabet-arithmetic tasks more quickly and achieved a higher level of mastery on these tasks than did those in the fixed-priority condition. Moreover, participants trained with the variable-priority technique showed evidence of the development of automatic processing and a more rapid rate of learning and higher level of mastery of the transfer tasks than did the fixed-priority participants. These results are discussed in terms of the mechanisms that underlie learning and performance of dual tasks and with respect to potential applications.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology