Age-related differences in the use of background layout in visual search

Ensar Becic, Arthur F. Kramer, Walter R. Boot

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The effect of background layout on visual search performance, and more specifically on the tendency to refixate previously inspected locations and objects, was investigated. Older and younger adults performed a search task in which a background layout or landmark was present or absent in a gaze contingent visual search paradigm. Regardless of age, participants demonstrated fewer refixations when landmarks were present, with older adults showing a larger landmark advantage. This visual search advantage did not come at the cost of saccadic latency. Furthermore, the visual search performance advantage obtained in the presence of a background layout or landmark was observed both for individuals with small and large memory spans.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)109-125
Number of pages17
JournalAging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2007

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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