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Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/25517

Title: Age-related Changes to Attention and Working Memory: An Electrophysiological Study
Authors: Wilson, Kristin
Advisor: Ferber, Susanne
Department: Psychology
Keywords: Electroencephalogram (EEG)
event-related-potential
aging
attention
N2pc
Ptc
visual
vision
working memory
localized attentional interference
change-detection
inhibition
target enhancement
selective attention
spatial attention
visual short-term memory
processing speed
elderly
development
psychology
Issue Date: 30-Dec-2010
Abstract: The aim of this thesis was to help elucidate the mechanisms that underlie age-related decline in visual selective attention and working memory (WM). Older and younger adults completed a behavioural WM task, after which electroencephalogram (EEG) was recorded as participants perform a localized attentional interference (LAI) task – competition/attentional interference was manipulated by systematically altering the distance between targets and distractors. Older adults showed impaired accuracy and reaction time on the WM and LAI tasks. Two event-related-potentials, indexing spatial attention (N2pc) and target processing (Ptc), displayed attenuated amplitude and increased latency in older adults. Thus, spatial selection, target enhancement and processing speed deficits may contribute to age-related attentional impairments. Furthermore, an unexpected component was found between the N2pc and Ptc in the older adult waveforms. Preliminary analyses suggest this may be the PD, implicated in distractor suppression, which may be differentially contributing to older and younger adults’ electrophysiology and attentional processing.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/1807/25517
Appears in Collections:Master
Department of Psychology - Master theses

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