Evidence for the Selective Preservation of Selective Attention in Old Age

Document Type



Psychology (Scripps)

Publication Date



Cognitive Neuroscience | Cognitive Psychology | Neuroscience and Neurobiology | Psychology | Social and Behavioral Sciences


Younger and older adults were tested in 2 versions of the Stroop color-word task: a color-block version in which the color word was adjacent to a color block and a color-word version in which the word was printed in color. An advance cue preceded the stimulus by 100–300 msec, indicating where it would appear. Age differences were small on the color-block version and large on the color-word version. These results are consistent with the speculation that posterior brain attention systems responsible for selecting a spatial location are relatively well preserved with advancing age but that anterior brain attention systems responsible for selecting a line of processing are compromised.

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© 1993 American Psychological Association

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