General Slowing or Decreased Inhibition? Mathematical Models of Age Differences in Cognitive Functioning

Sy Miin Chow, John R. Nesselroade

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Researchers have attempted to explain age-related decrements in cognitive performance in terms of reduced processing speed or decreased ability to inhibit irrelevant thoughts. We present these ideas in the context of a dynamic model derived from extensions of the classical predator-prey equation. Reduced processing speed among older adults is represented by use of delays in the dynamic model, whereas the interference imposed by distractors is captured by use of the predator-prey interaction term. We demonstrate the versatility of this modeling approach, and its pertinence to age-related behavioral change, by means of numerical simulations. In showing the applicability of these models, we identify several unresolved methodological and measurement issues that have to be addressed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)P101-P109
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Volume59
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 2004

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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