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Full Access Multisensory cueing and the attention network test in aging

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Multisensory cueing and the attention network test in aging

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The Attention Network Test (ANT) assesses the effect of alerting and orienting cues on a visual flanker task measuring executive attention. Previous findings revealed that older adults demonstrate greater RT benefits when provided with visual orienting cues that offer both spatial and temporal information of an ensuing target. Given the overlap of neural correlates involved in multisensory processing and cueing (i.e., alerting and orienting), especially in the superior colliculus, thalamus, superior temporal and parietal regions, an investigation of multisensory cueing effects was warranted. The current study was designed to determine whether participants, both old and young, benefited from receiving multisensory alerting and orienting cues on a visual flanker task. Eighteen young (M = 19.17 yrs) and eighteen old (M = 76.44 yrs) individuals that were determined to be non-demented and without any medical or psychiatric conditions that would affect their performance were included. Results revealed main effects for the executive attention and orienting networks, but not for the alerting network. In terms of orienting, both old and young adults demonstrated significant orienting effects for auditory–somatosensory (AS), auditory–visual (AV), and visual–somatosensory (VS) cues. Benefits of multisensory compared to unisensory averaged orienting effects differed by cue type and age group; younger adults demonstrated significantly greater RT benefits for AS orienting cues whereas older adults demonstrated significantly greater RT benefits for AV orienting cues. Both groups, however, demonstrated significant RT benefits for VS orienting cues. These findings provide evidence for the facilitative effect of multisensory orienting cues, and not multisensory alerting cues, in old and young adults.

Affiliations: 1: 1The Department of Neurology, Division of Cognitive & Motor Aging, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York, US; 2: 2Ferkauf Graduate School of Psychology, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, New York, US

The Attention Network Test (ANT) assesses the effect of alerting and orienting cues on a visual flanker task measuring executive attention. Previous findings revealed that older adults demonstrate greater RT benefits when provided with visual orienting cues that offer both spatial and temporal information of an ensuing target. Given the overlap of neural correlates involved in multisensory processing and cueing (i.e., alerting and orienting), especially in the superior colliculus, thalamus, superior temporal and parietal regions, an investigation of multisensory cueing effects was warranted. The current study was designed to determine whether participants, both old and young, benefited from receiving multisensory alerting and orienting cues on a visual flanker task. Eighteen young (M = 19.17 yrs) and eighteen old (M = 76.44 yrs) individuals that were determined to be non-demented and without any medical or psychiatric conditions that would affect their performance were included. Results revealed main effects for the executive attention and orienting networks, but not for the alerting network. In terms of orienting, both old and young adults demonstrated significant orienting effects for auditory–somatosensory (AS), auditory–visual (AV), and visual–somatosensory (VS) cues. Benefits of multisensory compared to unisensory averaged orienting effects differed by cue type and age group; younger adults demonstrated significantly greater RT benefits for AS orienting cues whereas older adults demonstrated significantly greater RT benefits for AV orienting cues. Both groups, however, demonstrated significant RT benefits for VS orienting cues. These findings provide evidence for the facilitative effect of multisensory orienting cues, and not multisensory alerting cues, in old and young adults.

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/content/journals/10.1163/187847612x646424
2012-01-01
2016-12-10

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