The role of spatial abilities and age in performance in an auditory computer navigation task Academic Article uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Aging
  • Cognition
  • Computers
  • Learning
  • Technology


  • Age-related differences in spatial ability have been suggested as a mediator of age-related differences in computer-based task performance. However, the vast majority of tasks studied have primarily used a visual display (e.g., graphical user interfaces). In the current study, the relationship between spatial ability and performance in a non-visual computer-based navigation task was examined in a sample of 196 participants ranging in age from 18 to 91. Participants called into a simulated interactive voice response system and carried out a variety of transactions. They also completed measures of attention, working memory, and spatial abilities. The results showed that age-related differences in spatial ability predicted a significant amount of variance in performance in the non-visual computer task, even after controlling for other abilities. Understanding the abilities that influence performance with technology may provide insight into the source of age-related performance differences in the successful use of technology.

publication date

  • September 17, 2008



  • Academic Article



  • eng

PubMed Central ID

  • PMC2581422

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1016/j.chb.2008.05.010

PubMed ID

  • 18997876

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 3045

end page

  • 3051


  • 24


  • 6