Alterations of visual search strategy in Alzheimer's disease and aging

Alexander Rösler, Mark E. Mapstone, Alissa K. Hays, M. Marsel Mesulam, Alfred Rademaker, Darren R. Gitelman, Sandra Weintraub*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

70 Scopus citations


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.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)398-408
Number of pages11
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2000

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology


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