Scientific article

The influence of inhibitory processes on affective theory of mind in young and old adults

Published inAging Neuropsychology and Cognition, vol. 21, no. 2, p. 129-145
Publication date2014

The primary aim of this study was to examine the impact of an inhibition manipulation on the effect of age on theory of mind (ToM) in an ecologically valid, affective ToM task. Participants were 30 young and 30 old adults. The Cambridge Mindreading Face-Voice Battery was used to measure ToM; in addition, measures of fluid and crystallized intelligence were taken. Participants were subjected to three levels of inhibitory demand during ToM reasoning: emotional inhibition, non-emotional inhibition, and no inhibition. Old adults performed worse than young adults. The emotional and non-emotional inhibition conditions resulted in worse ToM performance compared to the no inhibition condition. There were no differences in the impact of the inhibition conditions on old and young adults. Regression analyses suggested that old adults' crystallized intelligence was a significant predictor of ToM performance, whereas it did not predict young adults' ToM performance. Results are discussed in terms of verbal ability as a possible compensatory mechanism in coping with verbal inhibitory load in ToM reasoning.

Citation (ISO format)
MAHY, Caitlin et al. The influence of inhibitory processes on affective theory of mind in young and old adults. In: Aging Neuropsychology and Cognition, 2014, vol. 21, n° 2, p. 129–145. doi: 10.1080/13825585.2013.789096
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal1382-5585

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