Age-related increase in top-down activation of visual features.


Journal Article

Previous research suggests that, during visual search and discrimination tasks, older adults place greater emphasis than younger adults on top-down attention. This experiment investigated the relative contribution of target activation and distractor inhibition to this age difference. Younger and older adults performed a singleton discrimination task in which either an E or an R target (colour singleton) was present among distractor letters. Relative to a baseline condition in which the colours of the targets and distractors remained constant, an age-related slowing of performance was evident when either the colour of the target or that of the distractors varied across trials. The age-related slowing was more pronounced in response to target colour variation, suggesting that older adults place relatively greater emphasis on the top-down activation of target features.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Madden, DJ; Spaniol, J; Bucur, B; Whiting, WL

Published Date

  • May 2007

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 60 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 644 - 651

PubMed ID

  • 17455072

Pubmed Central ID

  • 17455072

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 1747-0218

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1080/17470210601154347


  • eng

Conference Location

  • England