Behavioral and ERP evidence of greater distractor processing in old age

De Fockert, J. W.; Ramchurn, Anusha; Van Velzen, Jose L.; Bergström, Zara M. and Bunce, David. 2009. Behavioral and ERP evidence of greater distractor processing in old age. Brain Research, 1282, pp. 67-73. ISSN 00068993 [Article]

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Abstract or Description

The ability to minimize processing for irrelevant information is a central component of goal-directed behavior, which has been suggested to be compromised in old age. In this study, we investigate age differences in distractor rejection by presenting target names alongside to-be-ignored distractor faces. Older adults (mean age 70) showed greater behavioral slowing than young adults (mean age 24) when the distractor face was incompatible with the target name. That this increased interference in the older adults was indeed associated with more distractor processing, was shown by the face-related N170 component of the EEG, which had greater amplitude in older adults when faces were unattended, but not when they were attended. These findings suggest a reduced ability to prevent distractor processing in old age.

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Date Deposited:

07 Mar 2011 14:10

Last Modified:

04 Jul 2017 13:54

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Yes, this version has been peer-reviewed.


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