Those who have greater inconsistency in their responses were found to have a lower survival time. The same could not be said of simply being slow.
Researchers examined 861 people aged between 70 and 90 over eight years. They gave participants computerised tests which required them to select a coloured square on a screen as quickly as possible.
The team discovered that inconsistent responses predicted survival time even after accounting for other factors such as age, sex, cardiovascular risk and cognitive decline.
Dr Nicole Kochan, of the University of New South Wales in Australia, said that erratic reactions were possibly linked to the efficiency of brain-processing mechanisms. As people age, the brain’s ability to process information declines, leading to erratic responses.
These reaction times appeared to become more exaggerated as a person got closer to death. - Daily Mail