Are inhibition and habituation, processes that contribute to selective attention, impaired by aging or Alzheimer's disease (AD)? Younger adults, older adults, and adults with AD read lists of letters presented either alone or paired with distractor letters. Slower reading times for lists containing distractors relative to lists without distractors indexed concurrent interference (distraction). Slower reading times for lists in which distractors subsequently became targets relative to lists in which distractors and targets were unrelated indexed negative priming (inhibition). Faster reading times when distractors were constant in identity or location rather than random indexed repeated distractor effects (habituation). Distraction increased with aging and AD, whereas inhibition and habituation showed no age- or AD-related decline, suggesting that inhibition and habituation still function to aid attentional selection in older adults and adults with AD.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology