In Visual Spatial Integration in the Elderly (Agostini, 2007) measurements were taken based on the subject’s ability to detect a circular target embedded in noise. Both the Circle and the background consisted of Gabor Patches. The stimulus was presented preceded by a sound, to achieve the subject’s full attention. A verbal response was then noted. Figure3 shows the age related affects on sensitivity for different distance ranges. It can be seen that subject performances decreases with age for every distance. Interpreting the data indicates that older subjects required less background noise than their younger counterparts to identify the target correctly. Therefore the visual system becomes more sensitive to the surrounding environment with age. It can be noted that there was a rapid rate of decline for shorter distances in older participants due presbyopia. However, in all age ranges detection and integration was increased when the Gabor Patches were closer in proximity.
Figure.3 Age against Sensitivity at various Distances, Visual Spatial Integration in the Elderly
Figure 4 indicates that the contrast sensitivity distribution was normal when compared to the population between the second and seventh decade. However, sensitivities of elderly subjects were lower than those of young observers. Therefore as you age your ability to distinguish between an object and its background is reduced (John S. Werner, 1990).
Figure.4 Spatial Frequency against Contrast Sensitivity and Age against Contrast Sensitivity Visual Spatial Integration in the Elderly
Light Vision and Ageing (John S. Werner, 1990) measured sensitivity changes for colour vision by isolating the three receptors,...
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...as also based on a forced choice between four quadrants which opens up the realms of guessing. Finally, pupil size failed to be considered and its effects not accounted for. Therefore age does decrease acuity and sensitivity however with so many variables unaccounted for the degree to which it does cannot be specified.
Finally, Se-Youp Lee (2004) investigation into stereopsis and ageing took into account the subjects visual acuity, correcting for both distance and near, and that no ocular diseases or binocular abnormalities were present. This would suggest that the decrease is not linked to visual acuity. However, the study is limited by the small sample group that was tested and the variations in pupil size. Perhaps with a larger subject pool, the use of a mydriatic and a method of assessing neural physiological changes the hypothesis of a defect could be proven.
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