Inhibition and habituation: Preserved mechanisms of attentional selection in aging and Alzheimer's disease

Linda K. Langley, J. Bruce Overmier, David S. Knopman, Margaret M. Prod'Homme

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations

Abstract

Are inhibition and habituation, processes that contribute to selective attention, impaired by aging or Alzheimer's disease (AD)? Younger adults, older adults, and adults with AD read lists of letters presented either alone or paired with distractor letters. Slower reading times for lists containing distractors relative to lists without distractors indexed concurrent interference (distraction). Slower reading times for lists in which distractors subsequently became targets relative to lists in which distractors and targets were unrelated indexed negative priming (inhibition). Faster reading times when distractors were constant in identity or location rather than random indexed repeated distractor effects (habituation). Distraction increased with aging and AD, whereas inhibition and habituation showed no age- or AD-related decline, suggesting that inhibition and habituation still function to aid attentional selection in older adults and adults with AD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)353-366
Number of pages14
JournalNeuropsychology
Volume12
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 1998

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology

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