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Garry F. Power, Elizabeth G. Conlon; Perceptual processing deficits underlying reduced FFOV efficiency in older adults. Journal of Vision 2017;17(1):4. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/17.1.4.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Older adults are known to perform more poorly on measures of the functional field of view (FFOV) than younger adults. Specific contributions by poor bottom-up and or top-down control of visual attention to the reduced FFOV of older adults were investigated. Error rates of older and younger adults were compared on a FFOV task in which a central identification task, peripheral localization task, and peripheral distractors were presented in high and low contrast. Older adults made more errors in all conditions. The effect of age was independent of the contrast of the peripheral target or distractors. The performance cost of including the central task was measured and found to be negligible for younger adults. For older adults performance costs were present in all conditions, greater with distractors than without, and greater for a low rather than high contrast central stimulus when the peripheral target was high contrast. These results are consistent with older adults compensating for reduced sensory input or bottom-up capture of attention by relying more heavily on top-down control for which they are resource limited.
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