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Do Age and Work Experience Improve X-Ray Screening Efficacy?

Posted Dec 08 2010 6:27am

In recent years, research on cognitive aging increasingly has focused on the cognitive development across middle adulthood. However, little is still known about the long-term effects of intensive job-specific training of fluid intellectual abilities. In a study presented in a recent issue of Geropsych:  the Journal of Gerontopsychology and Geriatric Psychiatry examined the effects of age- and job-specific practice of cognitive abilities on detection performance in airport security x-ray screening. In Experiment 1 (N = 308; 24–65 years), the researchers examined performance in the X-ray Object Recognition Test (ORT), a speeded visual object recognition task in which participants have to find dangerous items in x-ray images of passenger bags; and in Experiment 2 (N = 155; 20–61 years) in an on-the-job object recognition test frequently used in baggage screening. Results from both experiments showed  high performance in older adults and significant negative age correlations that cannot be overcome by more years of job-specific experience. The authors discuss the implications of their findings for theories of lifespan cognitive development and training concepts

For the abstract

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