This study examined performance measures and eye movements associated with complex arithmetic strategies in young and older adults. Participants added pairs of three-digit numbers using two different strategies, under choice and no-choice conditions. Older adults made more errors but were not significantly slower than young adults, and response times and errors showed no interaction between age and the number of carries. Older adults chose strategies less adaptively than young adults. Eye movements were consistent with use of required strategies on no-choice trials and reported strategies on choice trials. Eye movement data also suggested that young adults more successfully distinguished between strategies. Implications of these findings for understanding aging effects in complex arithmetic are discussed. (C) 2006 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.