Reference : Influence of response prepotency strength, general working memory resources, and specifi...
Scientific journals : Article
Social & behavioral sciences, psychology : Neurosciences & behavior
Influence of response prepotency strength, general working memory resources, and specific working memory load on the ability to inhibit predominant responses: A comparison of young and elderly participants
Grandjean, Julien[Université de Liège - ULg > Département de Psychologie : cognition et comportement > Neuropsychologie >]
Collette, Fabienne[Université de Liège - ULg > Département de Psychologie : cognition et comportement > Neuropsychologie >]
[en] One conception of inhibitory functioning suggests that the ability to successfully inhibit a predominant response depends mainly on the strength of that response, the general functioning of working memory processes, and the working memory demand of the task (Roberts, Hager, and Heron, 1994). The proposal that inhibition and functional working memory capacity interact was assessed in the present study using two motor inhibition tasks (Go/No-Go and response incompatibility) in young and older participants. The strength of prepotency was assessed with a short or long training phase for the response to be inhibited. The influence of working memory resources was evaluated by administering the tasks in full versus divided attention conditions. The effect of working memory load was manipulated by increasing the number of target and distracter items in each task. Results showed no effect of prepotency strength, whereas dividing attentional resources and increasing working memory load were associated with greater inhibitory effects in both groups and for both tasks. This deleterious effect was higher for older participants, except in the working memory load condition of the Go/No-Go task. These results suggest an interactive link between working memory and response inhibition by showing that taxing working memory resources increases the difficulty of inhibiting prepotent responses in younger and older subjects. The additional detrimental effect of these factors on healthy elderly subjects was related to their decreased cognitive resources and to their shorter span size.
Centre de Recherches du Cyclotron - CRC ; Centre de Neurosciences Cognitives et Comportementales
Fonds de la Recherche Scientifique (Communauté française de Belgique) - F.R.S.-FNRS