Age similarities in the inertial properties of attention.
Adult age differences in the mode of allocation of visual attention were investigated, using a visual search task with a circular display containing one target letter and seven distractor letters. In two experiments, a total of 56 younger adults (M = 20 years) and 56 older adults (M = 66 years) searched for a target appearing with equal probability at one of two cued locations. The first cue appeared 115 msec before display onset, and the second cue appeared with display onset; distance between the two cued locations was varied. Target identification performance indicated that attention was inertial, in that reaction time for second-cued targets was related either to the area of the portion of the visual field containing possible target locations or to the mean path length of a serial self-terminating search. There were no age-related decrements in the allocation of visual attention.
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