Adult Age Differences in Attentional Selectivity and Capacity

Journal Article

This paper reviews empirical research on adult age differences in the use of attention during visual search and classification tasks. This research suggests that the selective aspect of attention, in the sense of the ability to discriminate relevant and irrelevant information, is relatively resistant to age-related change. The capacity aspect of attention, in the sense of the limited processing resources that underlie task performance, appears to undergo age-related decline. Questions remain, however, regarding whether capacity-reduction explanations of age differences in cognitive performance have any advantages over explanations based on task complexity. Recent analyses of ageing and attention emphasise the potential contribution of formal models of cognitive performance. © 1990, Taylor & Francis Group, LLC. All rights reserved.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Madden, DJ

Published Date

  • July 1, 1990

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 2 / 3

Start / End Page

  • 229 - 252

Electronic International Standard Serial Number (EISSN)

  • 1464-0635

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0954-1446

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1080/09541449008406206

Citation Source

  • Scopus