Age equivalence in switch costs for prosaccade and antisaccade tasks

Psychol Aging. 2004 Mar;19(1):226-34. doi: 10.1037/0882-7974.19.1.226.


This study examined age differences in task switching using prosaccade and antisaccade tasks. Significant specific and general switch costs were found for both young and old adults, suggesting the existence of 2 types of processes: those responsible for activation of the currently relevant task set and deactivation of the previously relevant task set and those responsible for maintaining more than 1 task active in working memory. Contrary to the findings of previous research, which used manual response tasks with arbitrary stimulus-response mappings to study task-switching performance, no age-related deficits in either type of switch costs were found. These data suggest age-related sparing of task-switching processes in situations in which memory load is low and stimulus-response mappings are well learned.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Age Factors
  • Aged
  • Female
  • Fixation, Ocular
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Saccades / physiology*