Aging and dual-task performance: A meta-analysis

Paul Verhaeghen, David W. Steitz, Martin J. Sliwinski, John Cerella

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

376 Scopus citations


The relations between dual-task effects and aging were examined through a meta-analysis of 33 studies (with 48 independent participant groups) using latency as the dependent measure and 30 studies (with 40 independent participant groups) focusing on accuracy. Brinley plots and state traces were derived, and a model to explicate different types of complexity (additive and multiplicative) was developed. The effects of dual-task processing on latency were additive, and this additive cost was larger in older adults than in younger adults and larger than predicted from general slowing. This cost was small and independent of task complexity. The effects of dual-task processing on logit-transformed accuracy were likewise additive, but no specific age deficit was associated with this dual-task cost.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)443-460
Number of pages18
JournalPsychology and aging
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2003

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Social Psychology
  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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