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ZHENG BIAN, GEORGE ANDERSEN; The effects of aging on egocentric distance judgments in 3-D scenes. Journal of Vision 2012;12(9):904. doi: 10.1167/12.9.904.
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Previously we reported that older adults were more accurate in judging egocentric distance than younger adults (Bian & Andersen, VSS 2009). In the current study we examined whether this effect was due to differences in using eye height or texture gradient information between two age groups. In Experiment 1, twelve older (mean age = 68.4) and twelve younger observers (mean age = 21.3) viewed an outdoor scene (a large lawn field) binocularly and judged the egocentric distance of a target positioned at varying distances (4, 6, 8, 19, or 12m). The eye height (sitting, standing, or standing 0.85m above the ground) was also manipulated with the order counterbalanced across observers. On each trial an observer looked at the target in the scene and verbally reported its physical distance. We found older observers judged more depth than younger observers. However, the judged distances for both groups did not vary as a function of eye height. In Experiment 2, twelve older (mean age = 66.8) and twelve younger observers (mean age = 21.2) viewed an indoor scene (a hallway) monocularly through a rectangle viewer (16.9° × 52.1°) and judged the physical distance of a target positioned at varying distances (4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, or 12m). The texture pattern on the ground surface was manipulated by using a canvas (3.7 m × 12.2m) with no texture, a regular texture (random polka dots) or a random stripe texture pattern. The order of texture pattern was counterbalanced across observers. Again we found older observers reported more depth than younger observers. Neither age group varied their judged distances as a function of texture pattern. These results indicate greater precision among older individuals in using information for egocentric distance. The reliance on pictorial cues in distance perception with increased age will be discussed.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2012
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