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Influence of Age on Practice Effects in Longitudinal Neurocognitive Change

Influence of Age on Practice Effects in Longitudinal Neurocognitive Change Objective: Longitudinal comparisons of neurocognitive functioning often reveal stability or age-related increases in performance among adults under about 60 years of age. Because nearly monotonic declines with increasing age are typically evident in cross-sectional comparisons, there is a discrepancy in the inferred age trends based on the two types of comparisons. The current research investigated the role of practice effects in longitudinal comparisons on the discrepancy. Method: Longitudinal data over an average interval of 2.5 years were available on five abilities (i.e., reasoning, spatial visualization, episodic memory, perceptual speed, vocabulary) in a sample of 1,616 adults ranging from 18 to over 80 years of age. Practice effects were estimated from comparisons of the performance of people of the same age tested for either the first or second time, after adjusting for the possibility of selective attrition. Results: Increased age was associated with significantly more negative longitudinal changes with each ability. All of the estimated practice effects were positive, but they varied in magnitude across neurocognitive abilities and as a function of age. After adjusting for practice effects the longitudinal changes were less positive at younger ages and slightly less negative at older ages. Conclusions: It was concluded that some, but not all, of the discrepancy between cross-sectional and longitudinal age trends in neurocognitive functioning is attributable to practice effects positively biasing the longitudinal trends. These results suggest that the neurobiological substrates of neurocognitive functioning may change across different periods in adulthood. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png NeuroPsychology American Psychological Association

Influence of Age on Practice Effects in Longitudinal Neurocognitive Change

NeuroPsychology , Volume 24 (5): 10 – Sep 1, 2010

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Publisher
American Psychological Association
Copyright
Copyright © 2010 American Psychological Association
ISSN
0894-4105
eISSN
1931-1559
DOI
10.1037/a0019026
pmid
20804244
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

Objective: Longitudinal comparisons of neurocognitive functioning often reveal stability or age-related increases in performance among adults under about 60 years of age. Because nearly monotonic declines with increasing age are typically evident in cross-sectional comparisons, there is a discrepancy in the inferred age trends based on the two types of comparisons. The current research investigated the role of practice effects in longitudinal comparisons on the discrepancy. Method: Longitudinal data over an average interval of 2.5 years were available on five abilities (i.e., reasoning, spatial visualization, episodic memory, perceptual speed, vocabulary) in a sample of 1,616 adults ranging from 18 to over 80 years of age. Practice effects were estimated from comparisons of the performance of people of the same age tested for either the first or second time, after adjusting for the possibility of selective attrition. Results: Increased age was associated with significantly more negative longitudinal changes with each ability. All of the estimated practice effects were positive, but they varied in magnitude across neurocognitive abilities and as a function of age. After adjusting for practice effects the longitudinal changes were less positive at younger ages and slightly less negative at older ages. Conclusions: It was concluded that some, but not all, of the discrepancy between cross-sectional and longitudinal age trends in neurocognitive functioning is attributable to practice effects positively biasing the longitudinal trends. These results suggest that the neurobiological substrates of neurocognitive functioning may change across different periods in adulthood.

Journal

NeuroPsychologyAmerican Psychological Association

Published: Sep 1, 2010

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