McKendrick A M, Weymouth A E, Battista J, 2009, "Global contour processing in younger and older adults" Perception 38 ECVP Abstract Supplement, page 107
Global contour processing in younger and older adults
A M McKendrick, A E Weymouth, J Battista
Our experiments explore whether global contour processing is altered by healthy ageing. Contour processing was measured using a closed figure (circle or ellipse) constructed of Gabor patches presented either in noise or on a blank background. Three experiments were conducted: (i) we fixed the number of Gabors (10, 12 or 15) comprising the contour and measured the aspect ratio required to distinguish between shapes (circle or ellipse); (ii) we fixed the aspect ratio (three times individual threshold aspect ratios) and measured the threshold number of elements required to determine the shape; and (iii) we added orientation jitter to the Gabor elements and measured the aspect ratio required to distinguish the shape. For all tasks, the Gabors were presented at five times the individual's contrast threshold, aiming to eliminate differences in contrast sensitivity. Nineteen older (aged 61 - 80 years) and eighteen younger (aged 22 - 33 years) adults participated. Older adults had elevated thresholds for shape perception presented in noise ( p < 0.05) and required a larger number of elements to perceive the global contour when presented in noise ( p < 0.05), even when matched for contrast sensitivity and aspect ratio threshold. This finding is consistent with other recent work showing deteriorations in cortically mediated visual processing with age.
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