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|Title:||The effect of aging on spatial suppression|
|Authors:||Farber, Lindsay E.|
|Advisor:||Sekuler, Allison B.|
Bennett, Patrick J.
|Keywords:||aging, spatial suppression, center-surround antagonism, masking, GABAergic inhibition, visual cortex|
|Abstract:||The research discussed here examines how normal healthy aging affects spatial suppressive mechanisms in a variety of visual tasks using both static and dynamic stimuli. Prior research has suggested that younger adults demonstrate a center-surround antagonistic pattern in which they show spatial summation at low contrast and spatial suppression at high contrast in brief motion direction discrimination tasks. Older adults have been shown to have reduced spatial suppression at high contrast and this is thought to be related to reduced GABAergic inhibition in the visual cortex. The results obtained from this program of research suggest that age-related changes in optical and neural visual mechanisms do not affect spatiotemporal mechanisms for static stimuli when the target is presented with the mask (embedded masking). However, when the mask appears immediately before (forward masking) or after (backward masking) the target, older adults require more contrast to detect the target (Chapter 2). In addition, spatial suppression is not reduced for older adults in a task with moving stimuli presented at long durations, even with increasing speed (Chapter 3). In Chapter 4, we used static stimuli presented at brief durations to induce a sudden motion onset and found that although there was no significant age difference in spatial suppression, there was a trend showing reduced levels of spatial suppression in older adults. These results taken together suggest that inhibitory neural mechanisms in the visual cortex may mediate spatial suppression for briefly presented stimuli only.|
|Appears in Collections:||Open Access Dissertations and Theses|
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|FARBER_LINDSAY_E_2015DECEMBER_PHD.pdf||Thesis||3.65 MB||Adobe PDF||View/Open|
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