Controlling the focus of spatial attention during visual search: Effects of advanced aging and Alzheimer disease

Pamela M. Greenwood, Raja Parasuraman, Gene E Alexander

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

82 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

It was hypothesized that slowed visual search in healthy adult aging arises from reduced ability to adjust the size of the attentional focus. A novel, cued-visual search task manipulated the scale of spatial attention in a complex field in healthy elderly individuals and patients with dementia of the Alzheimer type (DAT). Precues indicated with varying validity the size and location of the area to be searched. Location precues exerted the strongest effects on conjunction search and the weakest effects on feature search. As the size of valid location cues decreased, conjunction search was facilitated. These effects declined progressively with advanced age and the onset of DAT. As the size of invalid cues increased, conjunction search was first facilitated, then slowed, but neither age nor DAT altered this effect. These results indicate that both Alzheimer's disease and, to a lesser degree, advanced aging, reduce control of the spatial focus of attention.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)3-12
Number of pages10
JournalNeuropsychology
Volume11
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1997
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Alzheimer Disease
Cues
Aptitude
Age of Onset

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biological Psychiatry
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology

Cite this

Controlling the focus of spatial attention during visual search : Effects of advanced aging and Alzheimer disease. / Greenwood, Pamela M.; Parasuraman, Raja; Alexander, Gene E.

In: Neuropsychology, Vol. 11, No. 1, 1997, p. 3-12.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

@article{645eb1f1002247e4a5a5ee797a51d82f,
title = "Controlling the focus of spatial attention during visual search: Effects of advanced aging and Alzheimer disease",
abstract = "It was hypothesized that slowed visual search in healthy adult aging arises from reduced ability to adjust the size of the attentional focus. A novel, cued-visual search task manipulated the scale of spatial attention in a complex field in healthy elderly individuals and patients with dementia of the Alzheimer type (DAT). Precues indicated with varying validity the size and location of the area to be searched. Location precues exerted the strongest effects on conjunction search and the weakest effects on feature search. As the size of valid location cues decreased, conjunction search was facilitated. These effects declined progressively with advanced age and the onset of DAT. As the size of invalid cues increased, conjunction search was first facilitated, then slowed, but neither age nor DAT altered this effect. These results indicate that both Alzheimer's disease and, to a lesser degree, advanced aging, reduce control of the spatial focus of attention.",
author = "Greenwood, {Pamela M.} and Raja Parasuraman and Alexander, {Gene E}",
year = "1997",
doi = "10.1037/0894-4105.11.1.3",
language = "English (US)",
volume = "11",
pages = "3--12",
journal = "Neuropsychology",
issn = "0894-4105",
publisher = "American Psychological Association Inc.",
number = "1",

}

TY - JOUR

T1 - Controlling the focus of spatial attention during visual search

T2 - Effects of advanced aging and Alzheimer disease

AU - Greenwood, Pamela M.

AU - Parasuraman, Raja

AU - Alexander, Gene E

PY - 1997

Y1 - 1997

N2 - It was hypothesized that slowed visual search in healthy adult aging arises from reduced ability to adjust the size of the attentional focus. A novel, cued-visual search task manipulated the scale of spatial attention in a complex field in healthy elderly individuals and patients with dementia of the Alzheimer type (DAT). Precues indicated with varying validity the size and location of the area to be searched. Location precues exerted the strongest effects on conjunction search and the weakest effects on feature search. As the size of valid location cues decreased, conjunction search was facilitated. These effects declined progressively with advanced age and the onset of DAT. As the size of invalid cues increased, conjunction search was first facilitated, then slowed, but neither age nor DAT altered this effect. These results indicate that both Alzheimer's disease and, to a lesser degree, advanced aging, reduce control of the spatial focus of attention.

AB - It was hypothesized that slowed visual search in healthy adult aging arises from reduced ability to adjust the size of the attentional focus. A novel, cued-visual search task manipulated the scale of spatial attention in a complex field in healthy elderly individuals and patients with dementia of the Alzheimer type (DAT). Precues indicated with varying validity the size and location of the area to be searched. Location precues exerted the strongest effects on conjunction search and the weakest effects on feature search. As the size of valid location cues decreased, conjunction search was facilitated. These effects declined progressively with advanced age and the onset of DAT. As the size of invalid cues increased, conjunction search was first facilitated, then slowed, but neither age nor DAT altered this effect. These results indicate that both Alzheimer's disease and, to a lesser degree, advanced aging, reduce control of the spatial focus of attention.

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/record.url?scp=0031036655&partnerID=8YFLogxK

UR - http://www.scopus.com/inward/citedby.url?scp=0031036655&partnerID=8YFLogxK

U2 - 10.1037/0894-4105.11.1.3

DO - 10.1037/0894-4105.11.1.3

M3 - Article

C2 - 9055265

AN - SCOPUS:0031036655

VL - 11

SP - 3

EP - 12

JO - Neuropsychology

JF - Neuropsychology

SN - 0894-4105

IS - 1

ER -