Aging and performance on an everyday-based visual search task

L.M. Potter, Madeleine Grealy, Mark Elliott, Pilar Andres

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

14 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Research on aging and visual search often requires older people to search computer screens for target letters or numbers. The aim of this experiment was to investigate age-related differences using an everyday-based visual search task in a large participant sample (n = 261) aged 20–88 years. Our results show that: (1) old–old adults have more difficulty with triple conjunction searches with one highly distinctive feature compared to young–old and younger adults; (2) age-related declines in conjunction searches emerge in middle age then progress throughout older age; (3) age-related declines are evident in feature searches on target absent trials, as older people seem to exhaustively and serially search the whole display to determine a target's absence. Together, these findings suggest that declines emerge in middle age then progress throughout older age in feature integration, guided search, perceptual grouping and/or spreading suppression processes. Discussed are implications for enhancing everyday functioning throughout adulthood.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)208-217
Number of pages10
JournalActa Psychologica
Volume140
Issue number3
Early online date2 Jun 2012
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2012

Keywords

  • ageing
  • middle age
  • visual search
  • everyday-based task

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