Multifactorial effects of aging on the orienting of visual attention

Alon Zivony, Hadas Erel, Daniel A. Levy*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Differential sensitivity of brain areas to the effects of healthy aging may lead to multifactorial influences on the orienting of spatial attention. We examined how aging affects two key aspects of orienting: the benefits of orienting to valid spatial cues vs. the costs of re-orienting following invalid cues, and the impact on orienting of prior cue validity, in the context of different degrees of cue predictivity and types of cue manifestation. We analyzed accuracy and response time data from the performance of 103 older adults and 135 younger adults in three versions of the Attention Networks Test. Participants engaged in target discrimination following either locational cues that were generally non-predictive, locational cues that were generally predictive, or symbolic cues that were generally predictive. We found that healthy older adults did not exhibit greater re-orienting response time costs than younger adults across all cueing types, nor did they differ in the orienting benefits provided by predictive locational cues. However, older adults derived greater benefit from valid cues in a generally non-predictive cueing context, and lesser benefit from valid cues in a symbolic predictive cueing context. Additionally, aging had no impact on the effects of prior trial validity on subsequent trial validity benefits. A comprehensive appreciation of the effects of aging on attention may be informed by these distinctions.

Original languageEnglish
Article number110757
JournalExperimental Gerontology
StatePublished - Dec 2019
Externally publishedYes


  • Attention
  • Endogenous
  • Exogenous
  • Orienting
  • Spatial


Dive into the research topics of 'Multifactorial effects of aging on the orienting of visual attention'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this