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Sheila Crewther, Deena Ebaid; Ocular Motor Function and Information Processing in Young and Older Adults. Journal of Vision 2019;19(10):126d. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/19.10.126d.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
Although the visual system is reported to undergo profound changes across the lifespan, oculomotor function during measures of perceptual speed have seldom been compared in samples of healthy, educated, young and older adults. Thus, the current study aimed to examine and correlate patterns of eye movements and consequent shifts in attention during text-reading and during Rapid Automatized Naming (RAN) tasks (alphanumeric and objects conditions), with time needed for accurate performance on visually driven-cognitive tasks including Inspection Time (IT) and Change Detection (CD) tasks) in both groups. Results demonstrate that older adults took longer (i.e., named less stimuli in the same time period) on the objects condition but not on the alphanumberic version of the RAN. Significant age-group differences in fixation and saccade durations patterns were also demonstrated, with younger adults fixating on the stimuli for significantly longer than older adults, while older adults demonstrated longer saccade durations between stimuli. No significant differences between age-groups were seen during the text-reading condition. Significant correlations between oculomotor measures and performance on the CD cognitive tasks, and the alphanumeric condition of the RAN was seen for older but not younger participants. Our results provide preliminary understanding of eye gaze patterns and oculomotor function with age, and demonstrate that eye movements become significantly slower with age especially during unpractised rapid automatic naming of familiar objects but not during text reading.
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