The Life Course of Human Visual Attention Development
Current research on theoretical and modeling aspects of visual attention is restricted to simple functionality, so simple that the models are virtually irrelevant in their predictive and explanatory power for normal and abnormal function. Models have not yet attempted to address the human life cycle of attention, yet from the perspective of visual health they must if the models are to provide a unified explanation for the attentional failings that may be part of disorders such as ADHD or the problems older adults have that are related to attention changes (e.g., driving or falling).
Our long-term research goals are to drive forward experimental work addressing the life cycle of visual attention and to extend the Selective Tuning Model of Visual Attention in those directions. We seek an understanding of how attentional processes in vision develop, fail, mature, and degrade during one’s life. The long term goal of a unifying framework based on the strong foundation available in the Selective Tuning Model promises to provide an explanatory and predictive theory applicable to normal and abnormal vision throughout the human life cycle.
Visual Discrimination Accuracy of All Ages in Experiment 1. Visual discrimination accuracies for each inter-target separations are depicted by age group. Visual discrimination accuracy significantly increased as a function of inter-target separation in the 12 to 17 year-olds and the young adults. However, in the 12- to 17-yearolds accuracy improvements were mainly observed when the targets are largely separated such as for the inter-target separations of 0.97 and 1.00. Accuracy in the 10- to 11-year-olds increased significantly from the inter-target separation 0.71 and 1.00. Inter-target separation did not affect accuracy in the 8- to 9-year-olds. The error bars indicate standard errors. (from Wong-Kee-You et al. JOV, 2019).
Audrey M. B. Wong-Kee-You, John K. Tsotsos, Scott A. Adler; Development of spatial suppression surrounding the focus of visual attention. Journal of Vision 2019;19(7):9. doi: 10.1167/19.7.9.