Processing time decreases globally at an exponential rate during childhood and adolescence

J Exp Child Psychol. 1993 Oct;56(2):254-65. doi: 10.1006/jecp.1993.1034.


Children (N = 108) from 6 to 16 years of age and adults (N = 108) were tested on four speeded tasks that included 19 different experimental conditions. The 6- to 16-year-olds' response times (RTs) increased linearly as a function of adults' RTs in those same conditions. The slope of this linear function declined exponentially with age at a rate that could be predicted accurately from values established in previous research.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Attention*
  • Child
  • Child Development*
  • Discrimination Learning
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Pattern Recognition, Visual*
  • Problem Solving
  • Reaction Time*