Aging, memory and visual search

Arthur F. Kramer, Walter R. Boot, Jason S. McCarley, Matthew S. Peterson, Angela Colcombe, Charles T. Scialfa

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Potential age-related differences in the memory processes that underlie visual search are examined in the present study. Using a dynamic, gaze-contingent search paradigm developed to assess memory for previously examined distractors, older adults demonstrated no memory deficit. Surprisingly, older adults made fewer refixations compared to their younger counterparts, indicating better memory for previously inspected objects. This improved memory was not the result of a speed-accuracy trade-off or larger Inhibition-of-Return effects for older than for younger adults. Additional analyses suggested that older adults may derive their benefit from finer spatial encoding of search items. These findings suggest that some of the memory processes that support visual search are relatively age invariant.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)288-304
Number of pages17
JournalActa Psychologica
Issue number3
StatePublished - Jul 2006
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging
  • Attention
  • Memory
  • Saccades
  • Visual search

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)


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