Age-related changes in neural activity during visual perception and attention


Book Section

© 2005 by Oxford University Press, Inc. All rights reserved. This chapter presents an overview of age-related changes in sensory systems that alter the identification of objects and events in the environment. It reviews the behavioral literature on perception and attention, documenting decreases in sensory function with age and the centrality of theories of decreased speed of processing in accounting for many age differences in perception and attention. It discusses age differences in attention, as well as the instances when some types of attentional processes remain age invariant. The chapter then reviews the neurobiological underpinnings of attention and perception in young adults, which sets the stage for a detailed discussion of what has been learned about age differences in neural activation and pathways for object recognition and attention. The picture presented is one of decreased efficiency and less differentiation of neural pathways mediating object recognition and higher order visual processes, along with instances of compensatory activation.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Madden, DJ; Whiting, WL; Huettel, SA

Published Date

  • May 1, 2005

Book Title

  • Cognitive Neuroscience of Aging: Linking cognitive and cerebral aging

International Standard Book Number 13 (ISBN-13)

  • 9780195156744

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195156744.003.0007