[en] Deficits in inhibitory abilities are frequently observed in normal aging. However, few studies have explored the generality of these deficits in a single group of participants. Here, we used an adaptation of the Simon task to differentially assess perceptual and motor inhibition using the same stimuli and task design and to determine whether these processes use separate or shared cognitive resources. We were interested in determining whether (1) normal aging is associated with the use of separate (as previously evidenced in young participants) or similar cognitive resources to perform perceptual and motor inhibition tasks; (2) older participants present a specific impairment in one of these two processes. Analyses of reaction times indicated that motor and perceptual inhibitory processes share some cognitive resources and both are impaired in normal aging. These results can be interpreted by considering that a dedifferentiation process is responsible for the inhibitory deficits presented by older participants.
Centre de Neurosciences Cognitives et Comportementales ; Centre de Recherches du Cyclotron - CRC