Sensitivity of spatial integration to perceptual cues is preserved in healthy aging

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Spatial integration has been shown to substantially decline with age. We examined the mechanism underlying this age-related impairment. Young and older adults were tested on the ability to integrate contour elements across variations in the collinearity of the target elements, their spatial proximity, and the relative spacing of the target elements to the background noise elements (. Δ). The results show that although contour integration generally declines with age, tolerating less noise (higher . Δ) than in young adulthood, its mechanism is preserved over the years, critically depending on the relations between collinearity and spatial proximity of the contour elements. The results suggest that while spatial integration in childhood is limited by the absolute contour spacing, lacking the ability to use collinearity in order to overcome poor proximity among the elements, no changes occur in the sensitivity of contour integration to these perceptual cues at the other end of the lifespan. This suggests that the sensitivity of spatial integration to the statistics of natural scenes is preserved in aging.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-6
Number of pages6
JournalVision Research
StatePublished - 1 May 2012
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by an ISEF Foundation Grant. I thank Tzipy Azrayev for her help in data collection.


  • Aging
  • Collinearity
  • Contour integration
  • Signal-to-noise ratio
  • Spatial proximity
  • Statistical properties

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ophthalmology
  • Sensory Systems


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