Age-Related Changes in Cognitive and Sensory Processing: Focus on Middle-Aged Adults Purpose The purpose of this article was to examine the effects of age on (a) various psychophysical measures of threshold sensitivity and temporal processing in hearing, vision, and touch and (b) measures of cognitive processing as assessed by the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale–Third Edition (Wechsler, 1997). Method Age ... Research Forum
Research Forum  |   June 01, 2015
Age-Related Changes in Cognitive and Sensory Processing: Focus on Middle-Aged Adults
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Larry E. Humes
    Indiana University, Bloomington
  • Disclosure: The author has declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.
    Disclosure: The author has declared that no competing interests existed at the time of publication.×
  • Correspondence to Larry E. Humes: humes@indiana.edu
  • Editor and Associate Editor: Robert Burkard
    Editor and Associate Editor: Robert Burkard×
Article Information
Hearing & Speech Perception / Acoustics / Special Populations / Older Adults & Aging / Attention, Memory & Executive Functions / Research Forum: Changes in Sensory Perception in Middle-Aged Adults
Research Forum   |   June 01, 2015
Age-Related Changes in Cognitive and Sensory Processing: Focus on Middle-Aged Adults
American Journal of Audiology, June 2015, Vol. 24, 94-97. doi:10.1044/2015_AJA-14-0063
History: Received October 22, 2014 , Revised November 25, 2014 , Accepted November 26, 2014
 
American Journal of Audiology, June 2015, Vol. 24, 94-97. doi:10.1044/2015_AJA-14-0063
History: Received October 22, 2014; Revised November 25, 2014; Accepted November 26, 2014
Web of Science® Times Cited: 1

Purpose The purpose of this article was to examine the effects of age on (a) various psychophysical measures of threshold sensitivity and temporal processing in hearing, vision, and touch and (b) measures of cognitive processing as assessed by the Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale–Third Edition (Wechsler, 1997).

Method Age group differences and correlations with age were examined, as were associations among age, sensory processing, and cognition.

Results The group analyses showed significant differences on most sensory and cognitive measures such that middle-aged adults performed significantly worse than young adults and significantly better than older adults. Correlations of performance with age were also significant when analyses were restricted to just the young and middle-aged adults. Last, sensory processing, but not age, was significantly correlated with cognitive processing when analyses were restricted to just the young and middle-aged adults.

Conclusion Middle-aged adults experienced declines in both sensory and cognitive processing. The declines in both the cognitive and sensory domains were such that, for most measures in each domain, the performance of middle-aged adults fell somewhere between that of young and older adults.

Acknowledgments
The preparation of the present article was supported, in part, by National Institute on Aging Grant R01 AG008293-21. The work represented in Humes et al. (2013)  would not have been possible without the contributions of colleagues Tom Busey, Jim Craig, Diane Kewley-Port, Dana Kinney, and Roger Rhodes as well as the assistance of many graduate students during the course of this project. Of course, without the dedication of the many subjects who completed the long battery of tests, this article would not have been possible, and we are grateful for their participation.
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