Time course of allocation of visual attention after equating for sensory differences: an age-related perspective.
Adult age differences in the time course of the allocation of visual attention were investigated, in 2 experiments that both included the same 10 younger adults (M = 22 years) and 10 older adults (M = 68 years). In Experiment 1, older adults accumulated information about target identity at a slower rate than younger adults, as represented by the rise in accuracy as a function of target duration. To equate performance in a baseline condition in a spatial-cuing paradigm (Experiment 2), target duration was set for each observer on the basis of the data in Experiment 1. Performance for the 2 age groups was comparable, both in the baseline condition and in the time course of attention, as indexed by the function relating accuracy to cue-target onset asynchrony. The authors conclude that, in this spatial-cuing paradigm, an age-related change is evident in sensory processing but not in attentional allocation.
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