Multitasking of young and older adults in ecologically valid scenarios

Uwe Drescher, Claudia Voelcker-Rehage, Otmar Leo Bock

Publikation: Beitrag in Buch/Bericht/KonferenzbandKonferenzbeitrag - Abstract in KonferenzbandForschungBegutachtung


Modern society relies on our ability to perform multiple motor and cognitive tasks concurrently, e.g., when driving a car or when using a smartphone while walking. Multitasking skills have been shown to decrease with advancing age, however. It therefore is of essential interest to better understand the age-related decay of multitasking and cognitive skills, and to design effective approaches to maintain or increase these skills. This work should focus on multitasking in realistic scenarios, since cognitive and motor performance in everyday life is oftentimes different from that in laboratory tests (e.g., Bock & Züll, 2013). Executive functions (EF: updating, inhibition, task shifting, dual-tasking) of young (20-30 years) and older (65-75 years) persons will be assessed with standardized laboratory tests. In addition, participants’ multitasking skills in natural scenarios will be assessed by use of two virtual-reality (VR) tasks (simulated street crossing and car driving) combined with a battery of realistic loading tasks that draw on participants’ working memory, perceptual search, reasoning and movement planning. Specific EF will subsequently be trained in older persons in a ten-week computer-based intervention, and will be re-tested immediately after the intervention and ten weeks later. We expect a moderate correlation between multitasking scores in the two VR scenarios, as well as between those scores and laboratory test values. We expect these correlations to be stronger for older than for young participants, due to the age-related increase of cross-domain associations (e.g. Baltes & Lindenberger, 1997). Finally, we expect that computer-based training will improve older persons’ multitasking skills.
TitelProgram of the 58 th Conference of Experimental Psychologists : TeaP 2016
Herausgeber*innenJoachim Funke, Jan Rummel, Andreas Voss
Herausgeber (Verlag)Pabst Science Publishers
ISBN (Print)978-3-95853-160-4
ISBN (elektronisch)978-3-95853-161-1
PublikationsstatusVeröffentlicht - 21.03.2016
VeranstaltungConference of Experimental Psychologists - Heidelberg, Deutschland
Dauer: 21.03.201623.03.2016
Konferenznummer: 58


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