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      Introducing the Internet to the over-60s: Developing an email system for older novice computer users

      , , ,

      Interacting with Computers

      Elsevier BV

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          Possible implications of aging for interface designers

           D. Hawthorn (2000)
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            The role of interference in memory span.

            In two experiments, we investigated the possibility that susceptibility to proactive interference (PI) affects performance on memory span measures. We tested both younger and older adults (older adults were tested because of the suggestion that they are differentially susceptible to PI). We used two different span measures and manipulated testing procedures to reduce PI for these tasks. For older adults, span estimates increased with each PI-reducing manipulation; for younger adults, scores increased when multiple PI manipulations were combined or when PI-reducing manipulations were used in paradigms in which within-task PI was especially high. The findings suggest that PI critically influences span performance. We consider the possibility that interference-proneness may influence cognitive behaviors previously thought to be governed by capacity.
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              Effects of aging on hand function.

              The purpose of this study was to quantify age-induced changes in handgrip and finger-pinch strength, ability to maintain a steady submaximal finger pinch force and pinch posture, speed in relocating small objects with finger grip, and ability to discriminate two identical mechanical stimuli applied to the finger tip. A cross-sectional study. Greater Cleveland area of Ohio. Healthy, independent, young (n = 27, range 20-35 years) and older (n = 28, range 65-79 years) subjects. Handgrip strength, maximum pinch force (MPF), ability to maintain a steady pinch force at three relative force levels (5%, 10%, and 20% MPF) and three absolute force levels (2.5 Newtons (N), 4 N, and 8 N), ability to maintain a precision pinch posture, speed in relocating pegs from a nearby location onto the pegboard, and the shortest distance for discriminating two stimuli were measured in both young and older groups. Compared with young subjects, the older group's handgrip force was 30% weaker (P < .001), MPF was 26% lower (P < .05), and ability to maintain steady submaximal pinch force and a precision pinch posture was significantly less (P < .05). The time taken to relocate the pegs and the distance needed to discriminate two identical stimuli increased significantly with age (P < .01). The decrease in the ability to maintain steady submaximal pinch force was more pronounced in women than men. Aging has a degenerative effect on hand function, including declines in hand and finger strength and ability to control submaximal pinch force and maintain a steady precision pinch posture, manual speed, and hand sensation.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Interacting with Computers
                Interacting with Computers
                Elsevier BV
                09535438
                December 2005
                December 2005
                : 17
                : 6
                : 621-642
                Article
                10.1016/j.intcom.2005.09.003
                © 2005

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