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Normal Aging and Interacting Attentional Processes

To examine whether executive attention is affected by perceptual attention, we manipulated executive load in a single experiment. Moreover, we assessed the influence of normal aging on knowledge-driven and attentional sensory-driven processes. Healthy young and older adult participants viewed visual streams of superimposed face/place images at low and high perceptual loads while making sex judgments on each face component and then completing a low or high executive load working memory task. Younger adults exhibited independent behavioural patterns for the executive and perceptual load manipulations due to intact selective attention mechanisms, whereas older adults exhibited interacting processes. This is evidenced by the performance of older adults on concurrent executive and perceptual tasks, which was associated with working memory capacity; whereas younger adults did not exhibit this dependency. Selective attention processes that are independent in younger populations seem to converge in older populations due to decrements in executive and perceptual attention domains.

Identiferoai:union.ndltd.org:TORONTO/oai:tspace.library.utoronto.ca:1807/30629
Date08 December 2011
CreatorsHughes, Jessica Ann
ContributorsDe Rosa, Eve
Source SetsUniversity of Toronto
Languageen_ca
Detected LanguageEnglish
TypeThesis

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