Biological motion perception is the ability of the visual system to perceive complex human movement patterns. Previous studies have shown a direct link between attentional abilities and performance on biological motion tasks, both of which have been shown to deteriorate with age. However, it is not known whether there is a direct link between age-related deficits in biological motion processing and attention. Here, we investigated whether age-related decline in biological motion perception is mediated by impaired attentional abilities. In a first task, we assessed biological motion performance, and asked younger and older adults to indicate the facing direction of point-light actions. In a second series of tasks, we assessed visual spatial and temporal attentional abilities using tasks such as conjunctive visual search, spatial cueing, rapid serial visual presentation and the Stroop task. Finally, in a third task, we combined both and assessed attentional demands related to biological motion perception similar to (Cavanagh, Labianca & Thornton, 2001, Cognition, 80, 47-60), in that younger and older adults had to indicate the presence of the target point-light walker among a varied number of distracters. We found a general effect of age across all tasks that cannot be explained by a common factor. The relationship between general attentional decline and biological motion perception will be discussed.
|Publication status||Published - 2015|
|Event||23rd Biennial Meeting of the International Society for the Study of Behavioural Development - Geneva, Switzerland|
Duration: 2 Sep 2015 → …
|Conference||23rd Biennial Meeting of the International Society for the Study of Behavioural Development|
|Period||2/09/15 → …|