Chapter 25 Developmental Changes in Attention and Visual Search throughout Adulthood

Academic Article


  • The focus of this chapter is to review current work on age-related limitations in visual search within the framework of a two process model of attention. Three hypotheses are presented to account for discrepancies in research findings and interpretations for age-related decrements in visual search. The underlying bases for these decrements are discussed, as well as the impact of these limitations on the performance of routine daily activities. We report that there is clear evidence for age differences at both the attentive and preattentive levels of processing in visual search. However, the bases for diminished performance, when they occur, vary between individuals. Therefore, future investigations should not ignore the high degree of individual differences found in performance among older individuals, but should consider analyzing results in terms of the functional deficit or deficits unique to the individual. © 1990, Elsevier Science & Technology. All rights reserved.
  • Authors

    Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Ball KK; Roenker DL; Bruni JR
  • Start Page

  • 489
  • End Page

  • 508
  • Volume

  • 69
  • Issue

  • C