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Psychol Aging. 2010 Jun;25(2):356-68. doi: 10.1037/a0017625.

Age-related decline of visual processing components in change detection.

Author information

  • 1Center for the Study of Aging and Human Development and Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences, Duke University Medical Center, USA. mccostel@iusb.edu

Abstract

Previous research has suggested that an age-related decline in change detection may be due to older adults using a more conservative response criterion. However, this finding may reflect methodological limitations of the traditional change detection design, in which displays are presented continuously until a change is detected. Across 2 experiments, the authors assessed adult age differences in a version of change detection that required a response after each pair of pre- and postchange displays, thus reducing the potential contribution of response criterion. Older adults performed worse than younger adults, committing more errors and requiring a greater number of display cycles for correct detection. These age-related performance declines were substantially reduced after controlling statistically for elementary perceptual speed. Search strategy was largely similar for the 2 age groups, but perceptual speed was less successful in accounting for age-related variance in detectability when a more precise spatial localization of change was required (Experiment 2). Thus, the negative effect of aging in the present tasks lies in a reduction of detection efficiency due largely to processing speed, though some strategy-level effects may also contribute. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2010 APA, all rights reserved).

PMID:
20545420
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC2896214
Free PMC Article
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