Age and extraversion differences in heart rate reactivity during working memory tasks

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Date: Jan. 22, 2021
From: PLoS ONE(Vol. 16, Issue 1)
Publisher: Public Library of Science
Document Type: Report
Length: 6,284 words
Lexile Measure: 1460L

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Abstract :

Research and theory have shown a link between heart rate reactivity during cognitive testing and extraversion in younger adults; however, similar work has not been conducted with older adults. This study was designed to explore age and extraversion-related differences in within-person heart rate (HR) reactivity during two working memory tasks of varying difficulty using a multi-level modeling approach. Across 570 total within-person assessments of continuous HR monitoring, 28 younger adults (M = 19.76, SD = 1.15) and 29 older adults (M = 71.19, SD = 6.63) were administered two working memory tasks (backward digit span and n-back). There were no age differences in reactivity during the backward digit span. However, similar to previous findings, on the more difficult n-back task, younger adults low in extraversion showed a trend toward higher HR reactivity than young adults high in extraversion. Interestingly, the older adults showed the opposite pattern in that lower extraversion older adults were less reactive than the higher extraversion older adults who showed the steepest increase in HR. The HR increase of the older adults high in extraversion may be an indication of higher engagement in this more difficult task. Individual differences in extraversion need to be taken into account when administering working memory tasks in older adults.

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Gale Document Number: GALE|A649336114