Biological motion and attention in healthy ageing

Hannah Clare Agnew, Karin Stefanie Pilz

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterpeer-review


Biological motion perception is the ability of the visual system to perceive complex human movement patterns. Previous studies have shown a direct link between attentional abilities and performance on biological motion tasks, both of which have been shown to deteriorate with age. However, it is not known whether there is a direct link between age-related deficits in biological motion processing and attention. Here, we investigated whether age-related decline in biological motion perception is mediated by impaired attentional abilities. In a first task, we assessed biological motion performance, and asked younger and older adults to indicate the facing direction of point-light actions. In a second series of tasks, we assessed visual spatial and temporal attentional abilities using tasks such as conjunctive visual search, spatial cueing, rapid serial visual presentation and the Stroop task. Finally, in a third task, we combined both and assessed attentional demands related to biological motion perception similar to (Cavanagh, Labianca & Thornton, 2001, Cognition, 80, 47-60), in that younger and older adults had to indicate the presence of the target point-light walker among a varied number of distracters. We found a general effect of age across all tasks that cannot be explained by a common factor. The relationship between general attentional decline and biological motion perception will be discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2015
Event23rd Biennial Meeting of the International Society for the Study of Behavioural Development - Geneva, Switzerland
Duration: 2 Sept 20152 Sept 2015


Conference23rd Biennial Meeting of the International Society for the Study of Behavioural Development


Dive into the research topics of 'Biological motion and attention in healthy ageing'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this