Effects of age and eccentricity on visual target detection

Gruber, Nicole; Müri, René Martin; Mosimann, Urs Peter; Bieri, Rahel; Aeschimann, Andrea; Zito, Giuseppe A.; Urwyler, Prabitha; Nyffeler, Thomas; Nef, Tobias (2014). Effects of age and eccentricity on visual target detection. Frontiers in aging neuroscience, 5(101), p. 101. Frontiers Research Foundation 10.3389/fnagi.2013.00101

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The aim of this study was to examine the effects of aging and target eccentricity on a visual search task comprising 30 images of everyday life projected into a hemisphere, realizing a ±90° visual field. The task performed binocularly allowed participants to freely move their eyes to scan images for an appearing target or distractor stimulus (presented at 10°; 30°, and 50° eccentricity). The distractor stimulus required no response, while the target stimulus required acknowledgment by pressing the response button. One hundred and seventeen healthy subjects (mean age = 49.63 years, SD = 17.40 years, age range 20–78 years) were studied. The results show that target detection performance decreases with age as well as with increasing eccentricity, especially for older subjects. Reaction time also increases with age and eccentricity, but in contrast to target detection, there is no interaction between age and eccentricity. Eye movement analysis showed that younger subjects exhibited a passive search strategy while older subjects exhibited an active search strategy probably as a compensation for their reduced peripheral detection performance.

Item Type:

Journal Article (Original Article)


04 Faculty of Medicine > University Psychiatric Services > University Hospital of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
04 Faculty of Medicine > University Psychiatric Services > University Hospital of Geriatric Psychiatry and Psychotherapy
04 Faculty of Medicine > Pre-clinic Human Medicine > BioMedical Research (DBMR) > DCR Unit Sahli Building > Forschungsgruppe Neurologie
10 Strategic Research Centers > ARTORG Center for Biomedical Engineering Research > ARTORG Center - Gerontechnology and Rehabilitation

UniBE Contributor:

Gruber, Nicole, Müri, René Martin, Mosimann, Urs Peter, Bieri, Rahel, Aeschimann, Andrea, Urwyler-Harischandra, Prabitha, Nyffeler, Thomas, Nef, Tobias


600 Technology > 610 Medicine & health
100 Philosophy > 150 Psychology




Frontiers Research Foundation


[UNSPECIFIED] This work was supported in part by the Haag-Streit Foundation




Pascal Wurtz

Date Deposited:

19 Mar 2014 13:48

Last Modified:

05 Dec 2022 14:27

Publisher DOI:


PubMed ID:


Uncontrolled Keywords:

aging, functional visual field, target detection, visual exploration behavior, visual search strategy, visual search





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