Applying the Inverse Efficiency Score to Visual–Motor Task for Studying Speed-Accuracy Performance While Aging

Yauhen Statsenko, Tetiana Habuza, Klaus Neidl Van Gorkom, Nazar Zaki, Taleb M. Almansoori

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Citations (Scopus)


Background: The current study examines the relationship between speed and accuracy of performance in a reaction time setting and explores the informative value of the inverse efficiency score (IES) regarding the possibility to reflect age-related cognitive changes. Objectives: To study the characteristics of speed and accuracy while performing psychophysiological tests throughout the lifespan; to examine the speed-accuracy ratio in age groups and to apply IES to discriminative visual-motor reaction task; and to figure out the predictive potential of psychophysiological tests to identify IES values. Methods: We utilize nonparametric statistical tests, regression analysis, and supervised machine learning methods. Results and Conclusion: The examinees under 20 and over 60 years of age share one tendency regarding the speed-accuracy ratio without speed-accuracy trade-off. Both at the time of active developmental changes in adolescence and during ongoing atrophic changes in elderly there is a tendency toward a rise of the number of mistakes while slowing the reaction. In the age range from 20 to 60 the relationship between the speed and accuracy is opposite and speed-accuracy trade-off is present. In our battery, complex visual-motor reaction is the only test with the significant negative association between reaction time and error rate in the subcohort of young and midlife adults taken together. On average, women perform more slowly and accurately than men in the speed-accuracy task, however most of the gender-related differences are insignificant. Using results of other psychophysiological tests, we predicted IES values for the visual-motor reaction with high accuracy (R2 = 0.77 ± 0.08; mean absolute error / IES range = 3.37%). The regression model shows the best performance in the cognitively preserved population groups of young and middle-aged adults (20–60 years). Because of the individual rate of neurodevelopment in youth and cognitive decline in the elderly, the regression model for these subcohorts has a low predictive performance. IES accounts for different cognitive subdomains and may reflect their disproportional changes throughout the lifespan. This encourages us to proceed to explore the combination of executive functioning and psychophysiological test results utilizing machine learning models. The latter can be designed as a reliable computer-aided detector of cognitive changes at early stages.

Original languageEnglish
Article number574401
JournalFrontiers in Aging Neuroscience
Publication statusPublished - Dec 9 2020


  • aging
  • cognitive decline
  • decision making
  • error
  • gender
  • machine learning
  • regression model
  • speed-accuracy trade-off

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ageing
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


Dive into the research topics of 'Applying the Inverse Efficiency Score to Visual–Motor Task for Studying Speed-Accuracy Performance While Aging'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this