Age-related changes in attentional modulation during dynamic attributes of visual attention

by Natalie Kelly

Institution: University of Birmingham
Department: School of Psychology
Year: 2015
Keywords: BF Psychology
Record ID: 1393986
Full text PDF: http://etheses.bham.ac.uk/5586/


Age-related changes in vision (such as decline in visual acuity, contrast sensitivity, temporal resolution, spatial resolution and visual motion processing) and cognition (such as slowing of the information processing system) are a factor of normal, healthy ageing. This thesis investigated the application of attentional modulation during perceptual tasks involving temporal order judgement and motion discrimination. The main aim was to discover if there are any differences in the ways that young and older adults utilise attentional resources. When provided with training to use attentional cues, young and older adults showed enhanced performance during temporal order discrimination. Age differences were identified in the way that the two age groups utilised attentional resources, where older adults used the cues at lower levels of task difficulty compared to young adults. Age differences in attentional modulation were supported by fMRI results which indicated that older adults were utilising a different cortical network to that of young adults to modulate sensory processing in motion specific regions both when attention was focused on the prevailing task, and when attention was divided between two tasks concurrently.