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Can J Exp Psychol. 2002 Sep;56(3):164-76.

Visual perception and aging.

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Université de Montréal.


A series of studies performed in our laboratory on aging and its effect on perceptual processing and working memory capacity for visual stimuli are reviewed. Specifically, studies on luminance, colour, motion, texture, and symmetry processing are reported. Furthermore, experiments on the capacity to retain size and spatial frequency information are also discussed. The general conclusion is that there are a number of perceptual abilities that diminish with age. However, the extent of these deficits will depend on the complexity of the neural circuitry involved for processing a given task. This is also true for visual working memory where no evidence of loss due to aging is demonstrated for processing low-level visual information, when individual differences in sensory input are compensated for. It is concluded that perceptual processing deficits due to aging (like working memory) will become evident when the computational load reaches a certain level of complexity (larger or more complex network) even if the tasks remain cognitively simple.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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