Visual search, characterized by eye fixation patterns, was examined in 8 patients with Alzheimer's disease (AD), 8 cognitively intact, age-matched individuals, and 8 young control participants as they searched for a number among a nonlinear array of letters on a large computer screen. Among the 3 groups, target detection accuracy differed and detection time increased linearly. There were more fixations, and fixation duration was significantly longer in the AD patients than in the other 2 groups. These factors contributed to the lengthening of target detection time. This qualitative difference in the architecture of visual search between AD and aging may reflect a specific deficit in the disengagement of visual spatial attention, a prolongation of saccade initiation, or inefficiency in planning a search strategy.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology