g , Owsley et al , 1995) We hypothesized that if the level of at

g., Owsley et al., 1995). We hypothesized that if the level of attention required in the task described in Experiment 1 was increased, older participants might begin to show a failure to discriminate peripheral stimuli. The paradigm developed in the first study lends itself well to examining whether any impairments older people have in reporting peripheral events (Owsley et al., 1995) interact with the lengthened attentional blink described by other authors in elderly individuals (e.g., Maciokas and

Crognale, 2003; Georgiou-Karistianis et al., 2007). As we were no longer assessing impairments in stroke patients but differences 3-Methyladenine between healthy younger and older groups, the methodology of Experiment 1 was manipulated to increase difficulty. First, display time of both selleck chemicals peripheral letters and central diamonds was shortened to 150 msec (from 200 msec in the first study). Second, peripheral letters were no longer red but were now white. Finally, the SOAs differed so that letters appeared at either 0 msec, 250 msec, 450 msec, 850 msec from the central diamond stimulus. All other methodological details were identical. A group of 21 healthy participants aged from 52 to 78 years of age (mean: 63 years) were compared to a group of 10 younger participants aged from 19 to 24 years (mean: 21 years). Ethical approval for the study was given by the university research ethics panel. Examination

of performance on the central task confirmed that accuracy was high and equivalent across participant groups and conditions (Fig. 4a). There was no significant interaction between the within-subjects factor of task load and the between-subjects factor of group [F (1, 30) < 1, ns]. An initial ANOVA was carried out with the within-subjects factors of SOA (zero, 250 msec, 450 msec, 850 msec), central load (high

vs low), side of letter presentation (left vs right) and the between-subjects factor of age group (older vs younger). There was no interaction between group and side [F (1, 30) = 2.38, p = .14] and data were subsequently collapsed across side of presentation. Analysis did reveal significant interactions between load and group [F (1, 30) = 7.38, p < .05], as well as between group and Nutlin-3 ic50 SOA [F (3, 29) = 6.63, p < .001]. See Fig. 4b and Table 2a and b. Due to the interaction between load and group, data were split and additional ANOVAs were performed on data from the low and high load tasks. First, during the high load central task, there was a significant interaction between group and SOA [F (3, 28) = 5.30, p < .01]. This contrasts with the low load condition as there was no significant interaction between SOA and group [F (3, 28) = 2.10, n.s.]. Attentional demand of the central task appears critical to differences between performance across the age groups. Independent subject t-tests examined these differences between group performances.

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