Attentional Flexibility and Aging: You Don't Need to Be 20 Years of Age to Split the Beam

Sowon Hahn, Arthur F. Kramer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Whether young and old adults were able to selectively attend to noncontiguous locations in the visual field and ignore physically interspersed distractor stimuli was examined. Participants decided whether 2 letters matched or mismatched. Target letter locations were precued by square boxes on an imaginary circle centered on fixation. Distractors were located between the 2 targets. Young and old were unable to ignore the distractors when the targets and distractors were presented as onset stimuli; however, both young and old were able to ignore the distractors when the target and distractors were presented as non-onset stimuli. The time course of attentional allocation was equivalent for young and old. Results are discussed in terms of models of visual selective attention and the flexibility of attentional control.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)597-609
Number of pages13
JournalPsychology and aging
Volume10
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1995

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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