TitleA Comprehensive Comparison of Quantifications of Intraindividual Variability in Response Times: A Measurement Burst Approach.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2019
AuthorsStawski, RS, MacDonald, SWS, Brewster, PWH, Munoz, E, Cerino, ES, Halliday, DWR
JournalJ Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci
Date Published2019 02 15
KeywordsAged, Aging, Attention, Cognition, Concept Formation, Female, Humans, Male, Neuropsychological Tests, Psychomotor Performance, Reaction Time

OBJECTIVES: To formally identify and contrast the most commonly-employed quantifications of response time inconsistency (RTI) and elucidate their utility for understanding within-person (WP) and between-person (BP) variation in cognitive function with increasing age.

METHOD: Using two measurement burst studies of cognitive aging, we systematically identified and computed five RTI quantifications from select disciplines to examine: (a) correlations among RTI quantifications; (b) the distribution of BP and WP variation in RTI; and (c) the comparability of RTI quantifications for predicting attention switching.

RESULTS: Comparable patterns were observed across studies. There was significant variation in RTI BP as well as WP across sessions and bursts. Correlations among RTI quantifications were generally strong and positive both WP and BP, except for the coefficient of variation. Independent prediction models indicated that slower mean response time (RT) and greater RTI were associated with slower attention switching both WP and BP. For selecting simultaneous prediction models, collinearity resulted in inflated standard errors and unstable model estimates.

DISCUSSION: RTI reflects a novel dimension of performance that is a robust and theoretically informative predictor of BP and WP variation in cognitive function. Among the plenitude of RTI quantifications, not all are interchangeable, nor of comparable predictive utility.

Alternate JournalJ Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci
PubMed ID29029201
PubMed Central IDPMC6377057
Grant ListR21 AG045575 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States
R01 AG012448 / AG / NIA NIH HHS / United States