Aging and Strategic Variations in Arithmetic
Patrick Lemaire
Aix-Marseille University

One of the most fascinating aspects of arithmetic for cognitive psychologists is that this domain sheds incredibly deep insights to basic fundamental issues in human cognition. These include as important issues as, among others, structural and functional cognitive architecture, strategic variations, long-term/working-memory interface, executive control processes, age changes, In this talk, I will illustrate this by discussing data on strategic variations in arithmetic and age-related changes of these variations during adulthood. I will first consider age-related changes and stability in strategy repertoire (i.e., which strategies are used?), strategy distribution (i.e., how often participants use available strategies), strategy execution (i.e., relative speed and accuracy of each strategy), and strategy selection (i.e., or how participants choose among each strategy on each problem). I will present behavioral and neuroimaging data collected while young and adults were accomplishing simple and complex arithmetic. I will also consider general processing resources (e.g., executive control mechanisms, processing speed) mediating age-related changes in strategic variations.