Binding visual features in working memory draws upon attentional resources in both younger and older adults

Louise A. Brown, James R. Brockmole

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaperpeer-review


We investigated the role of attention in binding visual features (colour and shape)
in younger and older adults. In Experiment 1, 48 younger (M = 19 yrs) and older (M = 72 yrs) adults attempted to remember colours, shapes, and colour-shape combinations while repeating a 2-digit number (articulatory suppression) or while counting backwards from this number in multiples of 3 (performance of which was consistent across task conditions and participant groups). Results revealed greater dual task costs for bound representations than for individual features, F(2,92) = 18.95, p < .001, while the memory performance of older adults was no more affected by dual tasking than was that of younger adults. In Experiment 2, 48 younger (M = 20 yrs) and older (M = 72 yrs) adults were shown three colours, shapes, or colour-shape combinations either simultaneously
(as in Exp. 1) or in sequence. An age-related binding deficit was evident, F(2,92) = 12.23, p < .001, as was a general binding deficit under sequential presentation conditions, F(2,92) = 15.81, p < .001. Taken together, the results suggest a general role for attention in visual feature binding, but that age-related binding deficits are not brought about or exacerbated by attentional demands.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusUnpublished - Jul 2010
EventExperimental Psychology Society Summer Meeting - England, Manchester, United Kingdom
Duration: 1 Jul 2010 → …


ConferenceExperimental Psychology Society Summer Meeting
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Period1/07/10 → …


  • binding visual features
  • working memory
  • attentional resources
  • younger
  • older
  • adults


Dive into the research topics of 'Binding visual features in working memory draws upon attentional resources in both younger and older adults'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this