Improving multitasking assessment in healthy older adults using a prop-based version of the breakfast task

Maria Kosowicz, Sarah E. MacPherson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Computerized cognitive assessment is becoming increasingly more common in clinical neuropsychological assessment and cognitive neuropsychological research. A number of computerized tasks now exist to assess multitasking abilities which are essential for everyday tasks such as cooking, shopping or driving, but little is known about whether these tasks are appropriate for assessing older adults’ multitasking. The present study directly compared age effects on multitasking when assessed using a computerized and a prop-based version of Craik and Bialystok’s (2006) Breakfast task. Twenty participants aged 18 to 24 years and 20 participants aged 60 to 79 years were assessed on both versions of the Breakfast task. While age-related decrements in multitasking performance were found using the computerized task, significant age differences were not found on the majority of measures when the prop-based version was administered. The results suggest that age-related deficits in multitasking will be less when more contextualized, non-computer based tasks are used.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)252-263
JournalApplied Neuropsychology: Adult
Volume24
Issue number3
Early online date18 Apr 2016
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 18 Apr 2016

Keywords

  • multitasking
  • aging
  • breakfast task
  • assessment
  • ecological validity

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