Age differences in peripheral perceptual processing: A monoptic backward masking investigation

David A. Walsh, Robert E. Till, Michael V. Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Investigated peripheral processes in vision in 2 experiments involving monoptic backward masking with random noise. For young (18-32 yrs) and old (60-81 yrs) Ss, peripheral processing time (represented by stimulus onset asynchrony of target and mask) was characterized as a power function of target energy. Although processing time for both age groups showed a similar rate of decline with increasing target energy, old Ss processed targets more slowly at all energy levels. Results were independent of education, sex, and criterion differences between young and old. Target duration was related to critical interstimulus interval, such that stimulus onset asynchrony between target and mask was approximately constant for a given target energy within each age group. It is suggested that peripheral processing begins with target onset and that processing time is best characterized by a power function relating stimulus onset asynchrony of target and mask to target energy. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2006 APA, all rights reserved).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)232-243
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: Human Perception and Performance
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 1978


  • monoptic backward masking, peripheral processing time as power function of target energy, 18-32 vs 60-81 yr olds

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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