- Perseverative behavior and adaptive control in older adults: Performance monitoring, rule induction, and set shifting.
- Brain and Cognition
- Volume | Issue number
- 49 | 3
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
Older adults have been shown to be progressively susceptible to errors of perseveration in the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST). This deficit may result from several types of endogenous adaptive control abilities. First, to enable behavioral modifications in response to sudden changes in task demands, one has to consider and evaluate the possible alternative categorization rules and select one for further testing (rule induction). Second, to perform the required shift appropriately, one should suppress the no-longer relevant task set and replace it with an appropriate new one (set shifting). Third, however, proper application of rule-induction and set-shifting abilities requires the ability to monitor and interpret task cues and feedback signals appropriately to guide behavior and to recognize the need to apply rule-shift operations. To explore the extent to which these different endogenous adaptive control abilities are differentially sensitive to the effect of aging, young and older (aged 62-83 yrs) adults were tested in 2 experiments using WCST-like tasks. The findings indicate that basic set-shifting abilities were the primary factor responsible for the increased tendency to perseverate as adults grow into senescence.
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