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Title: Extended practice at bingo : an examination of the effects of skilled performance on age-cognition relations
Author: Winstone, Julie
ISNI:       0000 0001 3570 9050
Awarding Body: University of Southampton
Current Institution: University of Southampton
Date of Award: 2003
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The purpose of this thesis was to gain a deeper understanding of the mechanisms underlying skilled performance and to explore the effects of skilled behaviour on age-cognition relations. Examination of the literature in this area led to the construction of several hypotheses. The first was that Bingo players would exhibit superior performance to non-Bingo players on a domain-specific task of visual search. The second hypothesis was that older Bingo players would demonstrate comparable levels of performance to younger Bingo players on a test of the molar (overall) skill. The third hypothesis predicted that Bingo players would be able to positively transfer the cognitive skills used in Bingo to a new task comprising the same contextual information. A final hypothesis predicted that Bingo players would demonstrate superior performance to non-Bingo players on domain-general cognitive tasks comprising familiar stimuli (supporting the maintenance theory of cognitive ageing). Bingo players were found to be both more efficient and proficient at the domain-specific task of visual search. Further, older Bingo players performed as well as their younger counterparts on this task. Bingo players also positively transferred some of the skills underlying Bingo performance to a new task, although, the effect was not so great for older Bingo players. Bingo players also performed better than non-Bingo players on visual search tasks that did not follow the same rules as Bingo. However, the performance of older Bingo players was found to be negatively affected by age on many of the general cognitive ability measures. In conclusion, the experiments presented in this thesis provided some support for the notion that certain cognitive abilities are maintained into older adulthood through continued practice. However, the tasks that produced comparable levels of skill for both younger and older Bingo players were specifically related to the molar skill. It is therefore suggested that the older Bingo players implemented a compensatory strategy in order to maintain performance. Further research will seek to determine the nature of this compensatory mechanism.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available