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Jutta Billino, Elena Hitzel, Sabine Margolf-Hackl, Karl Gegenfurtner; Value-based modulation of saccadic control across adult lifespan. Journal of Vision 2015;15(12):804. doi: 10.1167/15.12.804.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
There is a strong interest in understanding sensorimotor changes during ageing, and several studies have explored age effects on oculomotor control of saccades. Results from cognitive learning paradigms have suggested attenuated effects of value as well as increased sensitivity to negative outcomes in older subjects. We were interested in whether similar effects can be observed in saccadic regulation. We investigated prosaccades and antisaccades in 20 young subjects (M=28.2 years, range 22-38 years) and 28 senior subjects (M=67.0 years, range 60-80). Both saccadic tasks were presented randomly interleaved and a central cue indicated the specific task before each trial. We implemented three different value conditions. A neutral condition was used as a baseline from which we derived a latency criterion for each individual subject. Based on this criterion, subjects could either win money in a reward condition or lose money in a punishment condition. Corroborating previous findings, we found a profound increase with age for saccadic latencies in the neutral condition for prosaccades as well as for antisaccades. However, both age groups did not differ in the latency reduction we observed in the reward and punishment conditions. Young and senior subjects showed equivalent regulation of saccadic reaction times by expected value. Our results did not support differential efficiency of reward or punishment. They provide evidence that value-based modulation of saccadic control is preserved across adult lifespan.
Meeting abstract presented at VSS 2015
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