Interaction of hypertension and age in visual selective attention performance.
Previous research suggests that some aspects of cognitive performance decline as a joint function of age and hypertension. In this experiment, 51 unmedicated individuals with mild essential hypertension and 48 normotensive individuals, 18-78 years of age, performed a visual search task. The estimated time required to identify a display character and shift attention between display positions increased with age. This attention shift time did not differ significantly between hypertensive and normotensive participants, but regression analyses indicated some mediation of the age effect by blood pressure. For individuals less than 60 years of age, the error rate was greater for hypertensive than for normotensive participants. Although the present design could detect effects of only moderate to large size, the results suggest that effects of hypertension may be more evident in a relatively general measure of performance (mean error rate) than in the speed of shifting visual attention.
Madden, DJ; Blumenthal, JA
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