Change Blindness, Aging, and Cognition

Change blindness (CB), the inability to detect changes in visual scenes, may increase with age and early Alzheimer's disease (AD). To test this hypothesis, participants were asked to localize changes in natural scenes. Dependent measures were response time (RT), hit rate, false positives (FP), and true sensitivity (d'). Increased age correlated with increased sensitivity and RT; AD predicted even slower RT. Accuracy and RT were negatively correlated. Differences in FP were nonsignificant. CB correlated with impaired attention, working memory, and executive function. Advanced age and AD were associated with increased CB, perhaps due to declining memory and attention. CB could affect real-world tasks, like automobile driving.

Rizzo, M., Sparks, J., McEvoy, S., Viamonte, S., Kellison, I., & Vecera, S. Change Blindness, Aging, and Cognition. 31 2 245-56. 10.1080/13803390802279668.