Adult Age Differences in Memory-Driven Selective Attention
In two visual-search experiments, the ability of young (18-24 years) and older (60-74 years) adults to use memory-driven selective attention was investigated. In both experiments, both age groups exhibited faster reaction time to a visual display on trials when advance information (a cue) correctly predicted the particular target letter that would most likely be present in the display. Variations in the stimulus-onset-asynchrony between the cue and the display demonstrated that both age groups were capable of developing this selective preparation for a particular target letter within 200 ms. The present results indicated that age differences in performance were determined primarily by quantitative changes in the speed of information processing rather than by qualitative changes in attention. In both experiments, however, the two age groups differed in the type of relationship between speed and accuracy that they adopted, which suggested a possible age difference in performance strategy. © 1985 American Psychological Association.
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