Timothy A. Salthouse
Other affiliations: University of Michigan, Georgia Institute of Technology, University of Missouri ...read more
Bio: Timothy A. Salthouse is an academic researcher from University of Virginia. The author has contributed to research in topics: Cognition & Cognitive skill. The author has an hindex of 94, co-authored 295 publications receiving 40011 citations. Previous affiliations of Timothy A. Salthouse include University of Michigan & Georgia Institute of Technology.
Papers published on a yearly basis
TL;DR: A theory is proposed that increased age in adulthood is associated with a decrease in the speed with which many processing operations can be executed and that this reduction in speed leads to impairments in cognitive functioning because of what are termed the limited time mechanism and the simultaneity mechanism.
Abstract: A theory is proposed to account for some of the age-related differences reported in measures of Type A or fluid cognition. The central hypothesis in the theory is that increased age in adulthood is associated with a decrease in the speed with which many processing operations can be executed and that this reduction in speed leads to impairments in cognitive functioning because of what are termed the limited time mechanism and the simultaneity mechanism. That is, cognitive performance is degraded when processing is slow because relevant operations cannot be successfully executed (limited time) and because the products of early processing may no longer be available when later processing is complete (simultaneity). Several types of evidence, such as the discovery of considerable shared age-related variance across various measures of speed and large attenuation of the age-related influences on cognitive measures after statistical control of measures of speed, are consistent with this theory.
01 Jan 1992
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors provide a broad overview of the field of cognitive aging research, including abnormal aging, the neuroscience of aging, and applied cognitive psychology along with the core section on basic cognitive processes.
Abstract: The study of age-related changes in cognitive processes is flourishing as never before, making the area an exciting one for a growing number of researchers. In addition, cognitive aging research is moving out from its traditional roots in experimental and developmental psychology -- creating increased contact with cognitive neuropsychology and cognitive neuroscience. To reflect these changes in the field, this volume includes chapters on abnormal aging, the neuroscience of aging, and applied cognitive psychology along with the core section on basic cognitive processes. While other recent compilations of research in this area have given relatively brief overviews of the literature, the contributors were given space to review each topic in depth, asked to evaluate the field -- not simply their own contributions -- and to provide critical commentaries from their personal perspectives. Couched most often in terms of cognitive or information-processing models, the general perspective of the contributors is a biologically-based account of aging. This shared viewpoint gives the volume particular coherence in its treatment of theories and data. Topics covered include age differences in attention, perception, memory, knowledge representation, reasoning, and language as well as their neuropsychological and neurological correlates and practical implications.
TL;DR: Results from three methods of estimating retest effects in this project converge on a conclusion that some aspects of age-related cognitive decline begin in healthy educated adults when they are in their 20s and 30s.
Abstract: Cross-sectional comparisons have consistently revealed that increased age is associated with lower levels of cognitive performance, even in the range from 18 to 60 years of age. However, the validity of cross-sectional comparisons of cognitive functioning in young and middle-aged adults has been questioned because of the discrepant age trends found in longitudinal and cross-sectional analyses. The results of the current project suggest that a major factor contributing to the discrepancy is the masking of age-related declines in longitudinal comparisons by large positive effects associated with prior test experience. Results from three methods of estimating retest effects in this project, together with results from studies comparing non-human animals raised in constant environments and from studies examining neurobiological variables not susceptible to retest effects, converge on a conclusion that some aspects of age-related cognitive decline begin in healthy educated adults when they are in their 20s and 30s.
TL;DR: In this paper, the authors investigate the contribution of three conceptually distinct aspects or components-processing efficiency, storage capacity, and coordination effectiveness, to age-related differences in measures of working memory.
Abstract: Two studies, involving a total of 460 adults between 18 and 87 years of age, were conducted to determine which of several hypothesized processing components was most responsible for age-related declines in working memory functioning. Significant negative correlations between age and measures of working memory (i.e., from -.39 to -.52) were found in both studies, and these relations were substantially attenuated by partialing measures hypothesized to reflect storage capacity, processing efficiency, coordination effectiveness, and simple comparison speed. Because the greatest attenuation of the age relations occurred with measures of simple processing speed, it was suggested that many of the age differences in working memory may be mediated by age-related reductions in the speed of executing elementary operations. Working memory is generally defined as the preservation of information while simultaneously processing the same or other information. It is distinguished from other forms of memory because the assumption that it reflects both processing and storage implies that it plays an important role in many cognitive tasks (e.g., Baddeley, 1986; Carpenter & Just, 1989; Salthouse, 1990). An illustration of the hypothesized functioning of working memory in one cognitive task, mental arithmetic, is presented in Figure 1. The left column in this figure indicates the operations to be performed, and the right column represents the intermediate products that must be temporarily stored while carrying out those operations. This figure is useful because it graphically illustrates both the importance and the complexity of working memory. That is, it is clear from this example that effective storage of information is essential in order for the successful performance of certain cognitive tasks. Figure 1 also suggests that it may be fruitful to think of working memory not as a single discrete structure, but rather as a dynamic interchange among three conceptually distinct aspects or components-processing efficiency, storage capacity, and coordination effectiveness. Processing is represented by the series of operations in the left column, storage is represented by the entries in the right column, and coordination can be assumed to correspond both to the sequencing of operations and to the arrows portraying the exchange of information between processing and storage. A primary purpose of this article was to investigate the contribution of these three hypothesized components to age-related differences in measures of working memory. Each of the components has been hypothesized to be an important source of adult age differences by one or more researchers, but few definitive conclusions have been possible because the currently available evidence is both weak and inconsistent. To illustrate,
•01 Jun 1991
TL;DR: The authors reviewed the evidence of age-related differences in cognitive functioning and then evaluated the major explanations proposed to account for the negative relations between age and cognition that have been established, concluding that progress has been made in explaining cognitive aging phenomena, plus recommendations for research practices that might contribute to greater progress in future.
Abstract: The phenomenon of age-related cognitive decline has long been controversial, both in terms of mere existence, and with respect to how it is explained. Some researchers have dismissed it as an artifact of declining health or lower levels of education, and others have attributed it to general changes occurring in the external environment. Still other interpretations have been based on the "use it or lose it" principle -- known as the Disuse Hypothesis -- or on the idea that there are qualitative differences in either the structure or the process of cognition across the adult years. Perhaps the most popular approach at present relies on the information-processing perspective and attempts to identify the critical processing component most responsible for age-related differences in cognition. The primary purposes of this book are first to review the evidence of age-related differences in cognitive functioning and then to evaluate the major explanations proposed to account for the negative relations between age and cognition that have been established. Included is a discussion of theoretical dimensions and levels of scientific theorizing assumed to be helpful in understanding and evaluating alternative perspectives on cognitive aging. The various perspectives are then covered in detail and analyzed. The text concludes with observations about the progress that has been made in explaining cognitive aging phenomena, plus recommendations for research practices that might contribute to greater progress in the future.
TL;DR: This study provides a potential standardized definition for frailty in community-dwelling older adults and offers concurrent and predictive validity for the definition, and finds that there is an intermediate stage identifying those at high risk of frailty.
Abstract: Background: Frailty is considered highly prevalent in old age and to confer high risk for falls, disability, hospitalization, and mortality. Frailty has been considered synonymous with disability, comorbidity, and other characteristics, but it is recognized that it may have a biologic basis and be a distinct clinical syndrome. A standardized definition has not yet been established. Methods: To develop and operationalize a phenotype of frailty in older adults and assess concurrent and predictive validity, the study used data from the Cardiovascular Health Study. Participants were 5,317 men and women 65 years and older (4,735 from an original cohort recruited in 1989-90 and 582 from an African American cohort recruited in 1992-93). Both cohorts received almost identical baseline evaluations and 7 and 4 years of follow-up, respectively, with annual examinations and surveillance for outcomes including incident disease, hospitalization, falls, disability, and mortality. Results: Frailty was defined as a clinical syndrome in which three or more of the following criteria were present: unintentional weight loss (10 lbs in past year), self-reported exhaustion, weakness (grip strength), slow walking speed, and low physical activity. The overall prevalence of frailty in this community-dwelling population was 6.9%; it increased with age and was greater in women than men. Four-year incidence was 7.2%. Frailty was associated with being African American, having lower education and income, poorer health, and having higher rates of comorbid chronic diseases and disability. There was overlap, but not concordance, in the cooccurrence of frailty, comorbidity, and disability. This frailty phenotype was independently predictive (over 3 years) of incident falls, worsening mobility or ADL disability, hospitalization, and death, with hazard ratios ranging from 1.82 to 4.46, unadjusted, and 1.29-2.24, adjusted for a number of health, disease, and social characteristics predictive of 5-year mortality. Intermediate frailty status, as indicated by the presence of one or two criteria, showed intermediate risk of these outcomes as well as increased risk of becoming frail over 3-4 years of follow-up (odds ratios for incident frailty = 4.51 unadjusted and 2.63 adjusted for covariates, compared to those with no frailty criteria at baseline). Conclusions: This study provides a potential standardized definition for frailty in community-dwelling older adults and offers concurrent and predictive validity for the definition. It also finds that there is an intermediate stage identifying those at high risk of frailty. Finally, it provides evidence that frailty is not synonymous with either comorbidity or disability, but comorbidity is an etiologic risk factor for, and disability is an outcome of, frailty. This provides a potential basis for clinical assessment for those who are frail or at risk, and for future research to develop interventions for frailty based on a standardized ascertainment of frailty.
TL;DR: The meaning of the terms "method" and "method bias" are explored and whether method biases influence all measures equally are examined, and the evidence of the effects that method biases have on individual measures and on the covariation between different constructs is reviewed.
Abstract: Despite the concern that has been expressed about potential method biases, and the pervasiveness of research settings with the potential to produce them, there is disagreement about whether they really are a problem for researchers in the behavioral sciences. Therefore, the purpose of this review is to explore the current state of knowledge about method biases. First, we explore the meaning of the terms “method” and “method bias” and then we examine whether method biases influence all measures equally. Next, we review the evidence of the effects that method biases have on individual measures and on the covariation between different constructs. Following this, we evaluate the procedural and statistical remedies that have been used to control method biases and provide recommendations for minimizing method bias.
TL;DR: A theoretical framework is proposed that explains expert performance in terms of acquired characteristics resulting from extended deliberate practice and that limits the role of innate (inherited) characteristics to general levels of activity and emotionality.
Abstract: because observed behavior is the result of interactions between environmental factors and genes during the extended period of development. Therefore, to better understand expert and exceptional performance, we must require that the account specify the different environmental factors that could selectively promote and facilitate the achievement of such performance. In addition, recent research on expert performance and expertise (Chi, Glaser, & Farr, 1988; Ericsson & Smith, 1991a) has shown that important characteristics of experts' superior performance are acquired through experience and that the effect of practice on performance is larger than earlier believed possible. For this reason, an account of exceptional performance must specify the environmental circumstances, such as the duration and structure of activities, and necessary minimal biological attributes that lead to the acquisition of such characteristics and a corresponding level of performance. An account that explains how a majority of individuals can attain a given level of expert performance might seem inherently unable to explain the exceptional performance of only a small number of individuals. However, if such an empirical account could be empirically supported, then the extreme characteristics of experts could be viewed as having been acquired through learning and adaptation, and studies of expert performance could provide unique insights into the possibilities and limits of change in cognitive capacities and bodily functions. In this article we propose a theoretical framework that explains expert performance in terms of acquired characteristics resulting from extended deliberate practice and that limits the role of innate (inherited) characteristics to general levels of activity and emotionality. We provide empirical support from two new studies and from already published evidence on expert performance in many different domains.
TL;DR: The basic theme of the review is that eye movement data reflect moment-to-moment cognitive processes in the various tasks examined.
Abstract: Recent studies of eye movements in reading and other information processing tasks, such as music reading, typing, visual search, and scene perception, are reviewed. The major emphasis of the review is on reading as a specific example of cognitive processing. Basic topics discussed with respect to reading are (a) the characteristics of eye movements, (b) the perceptual span, (c) integration of information across saccades, (d) eye movement control, and (e) individual differences (including dyslexia). Similar topics are discussed with respect to the other tasks examined. The basic theme of the review is that eye movement data reflect moment-to-moment cognitive processes in the various tasks examined. Theoretical and practical considerations concerning the use of eye movement data are also discussed.