gms | German Medical Science

Physical activity and successful aging
10th International EGREPA Conference

European Group for Research into Elderly and Physical Activity

14.09. - 16.09.2006 in Köln

Reaction time with respect to sex and nature of stimulus

Meeting Abstract

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  • corresponding author A. Biswas - Union Christian Training College, India
  • S. Debnath - University of Kalyani, India

Physical activity and successful aging. Xth International EGREPA Conference. Cologne, 14.-16.09.2006. Düsseldorf, Köln: German Medical Science; 2006. Doc06pasa017

The electronic version of this article is the complete one and can be found online at:

Published: December 18, 2006

© 2006 Biswas et al.
This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License ( You are free: to Share – to copy, distribute and transmit the work, provided the original author and source are credited.




The purpose of the study was to analyze reaction time of older male and female populations with different types of stimuli. A number of research studies completed in this psycho-physiological problem with young population as subjects indicated that reaction time for female was higher than that of the male (Bellis, 1933; Botwinick and Thompson, 1966; Engel, 1972; Adam et al., 1999; Jevas and Yan, 2001; Baral and Debu, 2004). Studies conducted to explore the nature of stimulus and their effects on reaction time involved both the intensity level and type of stimulus. On the basis of the results obtained it has been reported that the auditory stimulus evoked quicker reaction than the visual one (Galton, 1899; Woodworth and Scholsberg, 1954; Fieandt et al., 1956; Welford, 1980; Brebner and Welford, 1980). The present study was planned to analyze the reaction time for older male and female populations with different types of stimuli.


Two hundred male and two hundred female within the age group of 50 to 70 years volunteered were selected as subjects for the study. On the basis of age they were divided in to 4 groups: 50-55 yrs., 55-60 yrs., 60-65 yrs. and 65 to 70 yrs. In each group there were fifty subjects.

The reaction time was measured by a multipurpose electronic reaction timer. There were provisions to provide stimulus in three variations: visual, auditory and tactile. The subjects were well informed about the test before data collection. For each subject there were eight trials for each stimulus. The two extremes were rejected. The mean values of rest six attempts were considered as the performance score of the subject. The collected data were statistically analyzed for mean, standard deviation and testing of significance of the mean difference.


Analysis of data indicated that the mean values of reaction time for male groups were 0.300s, 0.305s, 0.309s and 0.328s for visual stimulus; 0.283s, 0.290s, 0.297s and 0.320s for auditory stimulus; 0.307s, 0.313s, 0.320s and 0.336s for tactile stimulus. For female groups, the mean values were 0.292s, 0.298s, 0.310s and 0.341s for visual stimulus; 0.276s, 0.278s, 0.303s and 0.329s for auditory stimulus; 0.308s, 0.307s, 0.322s and 0.348s for tactile stimulus. Analysis of variance of the mean values revealed that there was statistically significant difference among the mean values. Post hoc test revealed that the mean values of auditory reaction time were significantly lesser than mean values of both the visual and tactile stimuli. But the mean difference between visual and tactile reaction time was insignificant.


On the basis of the results obtained the following conclusions were drawn: (i) the reaction time for auditory stimulus was the lowest of all types of stimuli; (ii) the female groups were proved to be better in reaction ability during 50-60 years but the male groups appeared to be better during 60-70 years.