Older adult’s spatial attention study

Spatial attention is critical for many aspects of life, from driving, to walking, to picking up and using objects. Our recent studies have found that older and younger adults perform in a similar way on a range of visual and non-visual tasks that measure spatial attention. Both younger (aged 18-38 years) and older (55-95 years) adults had the same responses for spatial attention tasks involving touch, sight or sound. When we think of ageing, we think not just of the physical aspects but also the cognitive side of it, especially when it comes to issues such as reaction time, which is typically slower among older adults. However, our research suggests that certain types of cognitive systems in the right cerebral hemisphere - like spatial attention - are 'encapsulated' and may be protected from ageing.


University of Edinburgh, UK; the University of Adelaide