Age-Related Differences in Localized Attentional Interference

Jason S. McCarley, Jeffrey R.W. Mounts, Arthur F. Kramer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Attentional selection of an object in the visual field degrades processing of neighboring stimuli in young adults. A pair of experiments examined the effects of aging on such localized attentional interference. In Experiment 1, younger and older observers made speeded same-different judgments of target shapes that varied in spatial separation. Performance declined for both age groups as the distance between targets decreased, but an Age × Distance interaction indicated that the magnitude of this effect was larger for older adults. Experiment 2 ruled out sensory masking as an explanation for these findings. Results indicate that older observers experience losses in the ability to attend to multiple spatially proximal stimuli within the visual field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)203-210
Number of pages8
JournalPsychology and aging
Issue number1
StatePublished - Mar 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology


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