Age differences in the strategic allocation of visual attention.

Journal Article (Journal Article)

The allocation of visual spatial attention was investigated in two groups of adults, younger (n = 24; M = 19 yrs) and older (n = 24; M = 68 yrs). Two sequential target displays were presented on a computer screen. If a target letter appeared in Display 1, then observers were to identify a target letter in Display 2. Based on accuracy of Display 1 target detection, the older adults had a more restricted range of visual processing than the younger adults. Based on reaction times for Display 2 target identification, older adults appeared to use a spotlight (serial) scanning mechanism, whereas younger adults appeared to use an activity-distribution (parallel) mechanism. Results are consistent with age-related cognitive slowing, but also suggest a difference in strategy according to the availability of visual information.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Gottlob, LR; Madden, DJ

Published Date

  • May 1999

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 54 / 3

Start / End Page

  • P165 - P172

PubMed ID

  • 10363038

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1079-5014

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1093/geronb/54b.3.p165


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States