Age-related differences in automatic stimulus-response associations: Insights from young and older adults' parity judgments


  • Fabre Ludovic
  • Lemaire P

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Young and older adults completed a parityjudgment task (i.e., judging whether a target digit was odd or even) in which target numbers were preceded by masked prime numbers presented for 43 msec. Targets were either congruent (i.e., they had the same parity status as their primes) or incongruent (i.e., odd primes were paired with even targets, and even primes were paired with odd targets). Response times, percent errors, and event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded for all items to compare automatic stimulus-response association (ASRA) and congruence effects (i.e., better performance on congruent than on incongruent trials) across age groups. Two important original sets of findings were obtained in this sample of participants. First, both age groups showed ASRA effects in behavioral measures. Second, age-related differences were observed in amplitude, tinting, and scalp distributions for each congruent and incongruent ERR These findings have implications for furthering the understanding of ASRA effects and of general characteristics of cognitive processes affected (or not affected) by aging.

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