Previous research demonstrates that older adults are poor at dual tasking, but there is less agreement on whether their decrement is worse than that predicted from single‐task performance. This study investigated whether task domain moderates dual‐task costs in old age. In two experiments, young and older adults retrieved either previously learned associates (episodic retrieval) or overlearned category members (semantic retrieval) under single or working‐memory load conditions, using cued recall (Experiment 1) and recognition (Experiment 2) procedures. In both experiments the proportional costs of dual tasking were age invariant for semantic retrieval but were particularly marked for episodic retrieval, although the size of the age effect was reduced in recognition compared to cued recall. The data suggest that age effects in dual tasking may be domain specific.
|The Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology. Section A
|Published - Feb 2004