Impaired attentional disengagement in older adults with useful field of view decline

Joshua D. Cosman, Monica N. Lees, John D. Lee, Matthew Rizzo, Shaun P. Vecera

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Objectives. Typical measures of the useful field of view (UFOV) involve many components of attention. The objective of the current research was to examine the attentional operations that might underlie declines in the UFOV. Method and Results. We used 2 basic attention tasks to characterize the profile of visual attention in UFOV-impaired and -unimpaired observers. Our results suggested that declines in the UFOV result from a deficit in attentional disengagement, not a decrease in attentional breadth or scope. Discussion. The results suggested that UFOV decline in normal aging can be associated with a specific attentional operation, namely attentional disengagement. These results suggest that the underlying cause of UFOV decline may not be a restriction in the breadth or scope of attention. Because the UFOV is a reliable predictor of driving safety, our results point to attentional components that are critical for the visual behavior of older adults.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)405-412
Number of pages8
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series B Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Volume67 B
Issue number4
StatePublished - Jul 2012
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging
  • Attention
  • Attentional disengagement
  • Cognitive decline
  • Useful field of view

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Health(social science)
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Life-span and Life-course Studies

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