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Psychophysical estimation of speed discrimination. II. Aging effects

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Abstract

We studied the effects of aging on a speed discrimination task using a pair of first-order drifting luminance gratings. Two reference speeds of 2 and 8degs were presented at stimulus durations of 500ms and 1000ms. The choice of stimulus parameters, etc., was determined in preliminary experiments and described in Part I. Thresholds were estimated using a two-alternative-forced-choice staircase methodology. Data were collected from 16 younger subjects (mean age 24  years) and 17 older subjects (mean age 71  years). Results showed that thresholds for speed discrimination were higher for the older age group. This was especially true at stimulus duration of 500ms for both slower and faster speeds. This could be attributed to differences in temporal integration of speed with age. Visual acuity and contrast sensitivity were not statistically observed to mediate age differences in the speed discrimination thresholds. Gender differences were observed in the older age group, with older women having higher thresholds.

© 2005 Optical Society of America

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