Spatiotemporal properties of apparent motion perception and aging
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We used a random-dot two-frame apparent motion paradigm to investigate whether age-related declines in motion perception are caused by deficits in integrating spatial information, temporal information, or both. Two random-dot patterns were presented sequentially on a black screen, separated by a blank inter-stimulus interval ranging from 0.01 s to 0.240 s. From the first to the second pattern, all the dots were shifted to the left or right by an equal displacement ranging from 0.03 deg to 1.64 deg. The spatiotemporal range yielding good direction discrimination performance was greatly reduced with age. For ISIs longer than 0.04 s, older subjects performed less accurately than younger subjects across a wide range of spatial displacements. Older subjects also showed poorer performance for large spatial displacements across a wide range of ISIs. Age-related differences in performance were also found with small displacements; however, these were largely accounted for by age-related declines in visual acuity. Overall, the results show that the maximum temporal interval and maximum spatial displacement over which two frames can be integrated are reduced in older age.
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