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Cognitive Research: Principles and Implications

, 1:22

First Online: 12 December 2016Received: 08 April 2016Accepted: 26 October 2016


Aging-related changes in the visual system diminish the capacity to perceive the world with the ease and fidelity younger adults are accustomed to. Among many consequences of this, older adults find that text that they could once read easily proves difficult to read, even with sufficient acuity correction. Building on previous work examining visual factors in legibility, we examine potential causes for these age-related effects in the absence of other ocular pathology. We asked participants to discriminate words from non-words in a lexical decision task. The stimuli participants viewed were either blurred or presented in a noise field to simulate, respectively, decreased sensitivity to fine detail loss of acuity and detuning of visually selective neurons. We then use the differences in performance between older and younger participants to suggest how older participants’ performance could be approximated to facilitate maximally usable designs.

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Author: Benjamin Wolfe - Jonathan Dobres - Anna Kosovicheva - Ruth Rosenholtz - Bryan Reimer



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