Visual search for features and conjunctions following declines in the useful field of view

Joshua D. Cosman, Monica N. Lees, John D. Lee, Matthew Rizzo, Shaun P. Vecera

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

11 Scopus citations

Abstract

Background/Study Context: Typical measures for assessing the useful field (UFOV) of view involve many components of attention. The objective of the current experiment was to examine differences in visual search efficiency for older individuals with and without UFOV impairment. Methods: The authors used a computerized screening instrument to assess the useful field of view and to characterize participants as having an impaired or normal UFOV. Participants also performed two visual search tasks, a feature search (e.g., search for a green target among red distractors) or a conjunction search (e.g., a green target with a gap on its left or right side among red distractors with gaps on the left or right and green distractors with gaps on the top or bottom). Results: Visual search performance did not differ between UFOV impaired and unimpaired individuals when searching for a basic feature. However, search efficiency was lower for impaired individuals than unimpaired individuals when searching for a conjunction of features. Conclusion: The results suggest that UFOV decline in normal aging is associated with conjunction search. This finding suggests that the underlying cause of UFOV decline may arise from an overall decline in attentional efficiency. Because the useful field of view is a reliable predictor of driving safety, the results suggest that decline in the everyday visual behavior of older adults might arise from attentional declines.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)411-421
Number of pages11
JournalExperimental Aging Research
Volume38
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1 2012

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ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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