Abstract

Older people seem to be highly susceptible to the distracting effects of irrelevant or interfering visual stimuli, We studied this susceptibility using visual displays in which observers had to localize the position of a face. When a face appeared in isolation, observers of all ages did equally well; when distracting stimuli surrounded the face, older observers alone performed poorly. Brief periods of practice produce substantial and long-lasting improvement in performance.

© 1986 Optical Society of America

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