This paper reports the results of two studies which investigated whether aging is associated with a differential deficit in executive function, compared with deficits in general cognitive ability (Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale-Revised performance). Further, the studies investigated the specificity of the executive decline hypothesis of memory and aging by examining whether declines in executive function mediate age-related memory decline over and above the variance in memory accounted for by general cognitive ability. The results of Study 1 showed no consistent evidence of a differential decline in executive function among a sample of participants aged between 18 and 75 years. The results of Study 2 indicated a differential decline in one indicator of executive function, the Modified Card Sorting Test, among an older sample aged between 60 and 89 years. Both studies demonstrated that measures of executive function accounted for age-related variance in free recall, recognition, and serial recall, even after controlling for general cognitive ability. However, in Study 1, once variance attributed to speed of processing was taken into account, executive function did not contribute further to the age-related variance.
|Number of pages
|Aging Neuropsychology and Cognition
|Published - 2000
- VERBAL FLUENCY
- OLDER ADULTS