Alerting, orienting, and executive attention in older adults

Jeannette R. Mahoney, Joe Verghese, Yelena Goldin, Richard Lipton, Roee Holtzer

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

51 Scopus citations

Abstract

The Attention Network Test (ANT) assesses alerting, orienting, and executive attention. The current study was designed to achieve three main objectives. First, we determined the reliability, effects, and interactions of attention networks in a relatively large cohort of non-demented older adults (n = 184). Second, in the context of this aged cohort, we examined the effect of chronological age on attention networks. Third, the effect of blood pressure on ANT performance was evaluated. Results revealed high-reliability for the ANT as a whole, and for specific cue and flanker types. We found significant main effects for the three attention networks as well as diminished alerting but enhanced orienting effects during conflict resolution trials. Furthermore, increased chronological age and low blood pressure were both associated with significantly worse performance on the executive attention network. These findings are consistent with executive function decline in older adults and the plausible effect of reduced blood flow to the frontal lobes on individual differences in attention demanding tasks. (JINS, 2010, 16, 877-889.)

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)877-889
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of the International Neuropsychological Society
Volume16
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 1 2010

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Keywords

  • Aging
  • Attention
  • Blood pressure
  • Executive function
  • Processing speed

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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