The effect of aging on response congruency in task switching: A meta-analysis


Response congruency effects in task switching are the observed slowing of response times for incongruent targets which afford more than one response (depending on task) in comparison to congruent stimuli that afford just one response regardless of the task. These effects are thought to reflect increased ambiguity during response selection for incongruent stimuli. The present study presents a meta-analysis of 27 conditions (from 16 separate studies) whose designs allowed investigation of age-related differences in response-congruency effects. Multilevel modelling of Brinley plots and state–trace plots showed no age-related effect on response congruency beyond that which can be explained by general age-related slowing. The results add to the growing body of evidence of no age-related decline in measures of attention and executive functioning.

Journals of Gerentology Series B: Psychological Sciences & Social Sciences, in press