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Journal of Aging Research
Volume 2011 (2011), Article ID 984694, 6 pages
Research Article

Aging and the Detection of Visual Errors in Scenes

Psychology Department, University of Colorado Colorado Springs, Colorado Springs, CO 80918, USA

Received 10 June 2011; Accepted 7 August 2011

Academic Editor: Darlene V. Howard

Copyright © 2011 Lori E. James and Toni M. Kooy. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Young and older adults performed a visual error detection task in two experiments. In Experiment 1, errors and anomalies were embedded in large, complex visual scenes, and participants were to find them and describe the nature of the identified problems. Young adults found more errors than older adults, a finding unrelated to age differences in near visual acuity or time constraints. Experiment 2 replicated the age difference in error detection using simplified visual scenes containing fewer errors. Results are interpreted as reflecting older adults' decreased ability to form representations for novel information, even though the task did not require the creation of new episodic memories.