Midlife aging, open-ended planning, and laboratory measures of executive function

S. E. Garden, Louise Helen Phillips, S. E. MacPherson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

50 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The frontal lobes show early signs of structural and functional change in the course of adult aging. The Ist study of the current article examined whether midlife aging influences open-ended planning, a skill that is particularly sensitive to frontal lobe damage. There were no midlife declines in the ability to carry out variants of the T. Shallice and P. Burgess (1991) Six Elements and Multiple Errands Tests. Younger adults were more likely to break individual task rules. In a 2nd experiment, middle-aged adults performed worse than young adults did on laboratory executive tests sensitive to frontal lobe damage-Self-Ordered Pointing and the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (N. M. Fristoe, T. A. Salthouse, & J. L. Woodard, 1997). In spite of changes in novel executive test performance, real-world executive skills appear to be spared in midlife aging.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)472-482
Number of pages10
JournalNeuropsychology
Volume15
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2001

Keywords

  • POSITRON-EMISSION-TOMOGRAPHY
  • ORDERED POINTING TASK
  • CEREBRAL-BLOOD-FLOW
  • AGE-RELATED-CHANGES
  • CARD SORTING TEST
  • WORKING-MEMORY
  • FRONTAL-LOBE
  • DELAYED-RESPONSE
  • STRATEGY APPLICATION
  • PREFRONTAL CORTEX

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