Aging and the development of automaticity in visual search

Journal Article

The rate of short-term memory search has previously been reported to be slower for older individuals than for college-age Ss (F. I. Craik, 1977). Current research has suggested that after extensive practice with the same population of stimuli, performance in memory-search and visual-search tasks can become "automatic," or independent of memory load. The present experiment examined age differences in the development of automatic processing in a hybrid memory-search/visual-search paradigm; 8 young (18-25 yrs old) and 8 older (61-74 yrs old) Ss participated. Although older Ss demonstrated a significantly slower rate of search, the 2 age groups shifted toward automatic processing, over practice, at equivalent rates. The slower rate of search thus represents an age-related increase in the time required to compare the memory-set items against those in a visual array, rather than a change in the mode of processing available. (20 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved). © 1980 American Psychological Association.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Madden, DJ; Nebes, RD

Published Date

  • September 1, 1980

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 16 / 5

Start / End Page

  • 377 - 384

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0012-1649

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1037/0012-1649.16.5.377

Citation Source

  • Scopus