Visual Simulation and Aging

Previous research has shown that the process of reading a word automatically evokes an image of that word, and that such images can affect how a person can respond behaviorally in consequent target detection. This visual simulation effect has been extensively studied in younger adults. However, it is unknown whether the effect remains as we age. In this study, we examine whether and how aging alters the visual simulation effect. Younger and older subjects are currently being tested within the IUSB research laboratories.

The Effect of Aging on Change Detection

Under normal circumstances, the visual system is adept at detecting changes to the environment. However, when attention is diverted at the moment of change, even large changes can go undetected. This change blindness has been shown to be exacerbated in older adults. This project examines how and why aging affects change blindness. Beyond performance data, we will be computationally modelling the data through the assistance of Dr. Aaron Buss of the University of Tennessee.

ECA Embodied Cognition and Aging

The study of embodied cognition has shown that the perceptual system can be calibrated by the physical condition of the body, and that change to body or motor intention can alter perceptual judgments. However, the influence of natural aging on this phenomenon is relatively unknown. This study will explore the possibility that aging may alter the embodiment-perception relationship; specifically, whether aging alters distance estimates of targets placed along a long hallway. This project is conducted with the assistance of Dr. Jim Brockmole and Dr. Chris Davoli at the University of Notre Dame.


Generalized Slowing and Aging

As we get older, we slow down. This common observation is also a scientific fact, although we know relatively little on how this age-related slowdown is manifested in people's lives, or whether their self-perception of slowing is accurate. In this project, we examine age-related slowing through a mixed-method design, using objective measures of slowing through computerized cognitive testing, and through a qualitative interview of subjects. This project is being run with assistance from Lydia Manning, Ph.D., of Concordia University. Funding for the this study comes through a research grant from Greencroft Communities.