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Juan A. Sepulveda, Andrew J. Anderson, Joanne M. Wood, Allison M. McKendrick; Differential aging effects in motion perception tasks for central and peripheral vision. Journal of Vision 2020;20(5):8. doi: https://doi.org/10.1167/jov.20.5.8.
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© ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)
The perception of motion is considered critical for performing everyday tasks, such as locomotion and driving, and relies on different levels of visual processing. However, it is unclear whether healthy aging differentially affects motion processing at specific levels of processing, or whether performance at central and peripheral spatial eccentricities is altered to the same extent. The aim of this study was to explore the effects of aging on hierarchically different components of motion processing: the minimum displacement of dots to perceive motion (Dmin), the minimum contrast and speed to determine the direction of motion, spatial surround suppression of motion, global motion coherence (translational and radial), and biological motion. We measured motion perception in both central vision and at 15° eccentricity, comparing performance in 20 older (60–79 years) and 20 younger (19–34 years) adults. Older adults had significantly elevated thresholds, relative to younger adults, for motion contrast, speed, Dmin, and biological motion. The differences between younger and older participants were of similar magnitude in central and peripheral vision, except for surround suppression of motion, which was weaker in central vision for the older group, but stronger in the periphery. Our findings demonstrate that the effects of aging are not uniform across all motion tasks. Whereas the performance of some tasks in the periphery can be predicted from the results in central vision, the effects of age on surround suppression of motion shows markedly different characteristics between central and peripheral vision.
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