John W. Hawks
Anthony J. Caruso
Wojtek W. Chodzko-Zajko
School of Speech Pathol. and Audiol., Kent State Univ., Kent, OH 44242
Physiologic and task performance measures are compared for young and elderly subjects on a simple speeded task, an auditory Stroop task and a cross-modal auditoryvisual Stroop task using verbal responses. The results suggested that all three tasks are perceived as physiologically stressful by both subject groups and that older subjects were more physiologically reactive to visual stimuli than younger subjects. Differences in reaction times suggested a longer overall processing time for older subjects, as well as greater interference in processing incongruent stimuli. However, analysis of response errors indicated significantly better accuracy on difficult tasks for the older subjects. The implications of these findings will be discussed in terms of task strategic differences and resource conservation.