Do older individuals have difficulty processing motion or excluding noise? Implications for safe driving

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Conlon, Elizabeth G
Brown, Donnamay T
Power, Garry F
Bradbury, Shannon A
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2015
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Abstract

This study aimed to determine if difficulties extracting signal from noise explained poorer coherent motion thresholds in older individuals, particularly women. In four experimental conditions the contrast of the signal and noise dots used in a random dot kinematogram was manipulated. Coherence thresholds were highest when the signal dots were of a lower contrast than the noise dots and lowest when the signal dots were of a higher contrast than the noise dots. In all conditions the older group had higher coherence thresholds than the younger group, and women had higher thresholds than men. Significant correlations were found between coherence thresholds and self-reported driving difficulties in conditions in which the signal dots had to be extracted from noise only. The results indicate that older individuals have difficulties extracting signal from noise in cluttered visual environments. The implications for safe driving are discussed.

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Aging, Neuropsychology and Cognition
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22
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3
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Neurosciences
Cognitive and computational psychology
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