Encyclopedia of Geropsychology

Living Edition
| Editors: Nancy A. Pachana

History of Cognitive Slowing Theory and Research

Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-981-287-080-3_96-1



Age-related cognitive slowing refers to the common finding that humans tend to slow down in cognitive processing with increased adult age.

Individual Differences in Processing Speed

As Birren and Fisher (1995) noted, current research on slowing in cognitive aging is built on the foundation of research on individual differences in the late nineteenth century and early twentieth century, for example, Galton’s “anthropometric measurements” obtained at the 1884 International Health Exhibition in London. Related work by Cattell in 1890 and Koga and Morant in 1923 suggested that individual differences in reaction time (RT) in elementary sensory tasks were potentially important measures of cognitive performance. Further, individual differences in the RT measures were not attributable entirely to peripheral, sensory processes but instead appeared to represent basic properties of the central...


Structural Equation Modeling Processing Speed Cognitive Training Reaction Time Distribution Anterior Thalamic Radiation 
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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Brain Imaging and Analysis Center, Duke University Medical CenterDurhamUSA
  2. 2.Adult Development and Aging PsychologyThe University of AkronAkronUSA