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SAGE KE Bulletin Board

Aging from a psychological and an information processing perspective

11 July 2004

Rainer Spiegel

I am replying to Elaine G. Strauss' request published in this forum on 12 September 2002: members in this community telling about their research interests. My background is in psychology and computer science. As a result, I am interested in aging from both a psychological and an information processing point of view. For example, I am interested in how quickly people of different age groups can adapt to new digital environments. In this context, what is the role of prior experience with digital technology in order to understand new developments in the digital world. For example, do youngsters perceive identical digital interfaces in the same way as their grandparents [1]? Recent evidence suggests that this is not the case [2]. One possible reason for this might be that young people's perception of their day to day environment is shaped by their frequent interaction with digital technology. Another area I find fascinating is how to create user interfaces that are considered interesting and clear by all age groups. Finally, how can we reduce anxiety in people from older generations when they interact with novel computing equipment. 1. R. Spiegel: The effect of movies on the nervous system. Debate response published by Science ONLINE, 6 April 2004. [ http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/eletters/303/5664/1617#877 ] 2. W. Neidich: Blow-up: Photography, Cinema and the Brain. (Distributed Art Publishers, New York, 2003).

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Science of Aging Knowledge Environment. ISSN 1539-6150