Does aging amplify the rule-based efficiency effect in action selection?

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2023
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Frontiers in Psychology. Frontiers. 2023, 14, 1012586. eISSN 1664-1078. Available under: doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2023.1012586
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When it comes to the selection of adequate movements, people may apply varying strategies. Explicit if-then rules, compared to implicit prospective action planning, can facilitate action selection in young healthy adults. But aging alters cognitive processes. It is unknown whether older adults may similarly, profit from a rule-based approach to action selection. To investigate the potential effects of aging, the Rule/Plan Motor Cognition (RPMC) paradigm was applied to three different age groups between 31 and 90 years of age. Participants selected grips either instructed by a rule or by prospective planning. As a function of age, we found a general increase in a strategy-specific advantage as quantified by the difference in reaction time between plan- and rule-based action selection. However, in older age groups, these differences went in both directions: some participants initiated rule-based action selection faster, while for others, plan-based action selection seemed more efficient. The decomposition of reaction times into speed of the decision process, action encoding, and response caution components suggests that rule-based action selection may reduce action encoding demands in all age groups. There appears a tendency for the younger and middle age groups to have a speed advantage in the rule task when it comes to information accumulation for action selection. Thus, one influential factor determining the robustness of the rule-based efficiency effect across the lifespan may be presented by the reduced speed of information uptake. Future studies need to further specify the role of these parameters for efficient action selection.

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ISO 690SCHEIB, Jean P.P., Sarah STOLL, Jennifer RANDERATH, 2023. Does aging amplify the rule-based efficiency effect in action selection?. In: Frontiers in Psychology. Frontiers. 2023, 14, 1012586. eISSN 1664-1078. Available under: doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2023.1012586
BibTex
@article{Scheib2023aging-66448,
  year={2023},
  doi={10.3389/fpsyg.2023.1012586},
  title={Does aging amplify the rule-based efficiency effect in action selection?},
  volume={14},
  journal={Frontiers in Psychology},
  author={Scheib, Jean P.P. and Stoll, Sarah and Randerath, Jennifer},
  note={Article Number: 1012586}
}
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