Assessing spatial perception in aging using an adapted Landolt-C technique

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This study investigated luminance and texture-defined spatial information processing in normal aging using an adapted Landolt-C technique. Sensitivity to C-target stimuli (optotypes) was measured for four age groups: 18–34, 35–49, 50–64, and 65+ years. Participants indicated optotype gap-opening orientations (up, down, left, or right) at different levels of luminance or texture contrast. Although sensitivity did not differ across age group for the luminance-defined optotypes, sensitivity for texture-defined optotypes for the 65+ years age group was significantly decreased relative to that of the youngest group (18–34 years). Results suggest that age-related changes in visual function can be dissociated at different levels of processing, and may be better defined using stimuli that necessarily depend on higher levels of neural functioning to be perceived.

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