The Effects of Aging, Depth, and Sound on Dynamic Spatial Attention

When and Where

Wednesday, February 27, 2019 12:15 pm to 1:30 pm
Room 3130
Sidney Smith Hall
100 St. George Street


EUGENIE ROUDAIA, Department of Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour, McMaster University


Video Recording of Talk

Abstract: Many situations in daily life require us to track several objects in a dynamic environment. Performance in such situations depends not only on the complexity of the visual scene, but also on one's attentional capacity, which shows important declines with aging. In this first part of this talk, I will present work that aimed to elucidate the cause of age-related decline in attentional tracking. These studies revealed that aging specifically impairs the ability to distribute attentional resources across multiple targets, especially within a single hemifield. In the second part of this talk, I will describe our investigation of whether the location of objects in depth impacts attentional tracking in younger and older adults. This study revealed that separating targets in depth impairs tracking ifobservers fixate in the near plane, but not in the far plane. This viewer-centered gradient of attention in depth was not altered with aging. In the third part of this talk, I will present our investigations of whether congruent dynamic sounds can facilitate visual object tracking. Our results showed that sounds can improve tracking performance in younger, but not older adults, and only in the case of a single target. Together, these studies provide a better understanding of the properties of dynamic attention that is needed to process dynamic scenes. 

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100 St. George Street