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J Gerontol. 1978 May;33(3):383-7.

Age differences in visual sensory memory.


Age differences in visual sensory memory were studied using the direct measure procedure of Haber and Standing (1969) -- the longest interstimulus interval at which subjects reported a single stimulus as continuous was measured. The visual storage of the young (mean age 24 years) was found to persist for 289 msec compared to 248 for the old (mean age 67 years). Similar estimates of sensory memory duration were obtained when either monoptic or dichoptic stimulus presentations were employed, supporting the idea that visual storage is centrally mediated for both age groups. The relevance of these findings for age differences in the registration of information into primary and secondary memory and their implications for the stimulus persistence hypothesis are considered. The appropriateness and validity of the persistence of form task for studies of sensory memory and aging are also discussed.

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