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Nicholas J. Cepeda, Katharine A. Blackwell and Yuko Munakata Speed isn't everything: complex processing speed measures mask individual differences and developmental changes in executive control Developmental Science 16

Article first published online: 23 FEB 2013 | DOI: 10.1111/desc.12024

The rate at which people process information appears to influence many aspects of cognition across the lifespan. However, many commonly accepted measures of “processing speed” may require goal maintenance, manipulation of information in working memory, and decision-making, blurring the distinction between processing speed and executive control and resulting in overestimation of processing-speed contributions to cognition. This concern may apply particularly to studies of developmental change, as even seemingly simple processing speed measures may require executive processes to keep children and older adults on task.

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