Using a spatial-cueing paradigm, we assessed the ability of Alzheimer's disease patients, age-matched controls and younger participants to use cues to guide attention to the location indicated by the cue. In separate experiments, we attempted to isolate cues that attract attention automatically (exogenous cueing) and those that require the wilful movement of attention (endogenous cues). We found significant cueing effects for all three groups of participants for both types of cue. However, the group with Alzheimer's disease showed far greater cueing effects when using an exogenous cue, whilst no difference between group's ability to use the cue was found for the endogenous cue. No differences in cueing were found for either cue type as a function of normal ageing. We further tested whether the differences in cueing found in the group with Alzheimer's disease was due to a generalised slowing of function. After transforming the data to take account of the overall slowing of all responses in this group, we still found significant differences between this group and the control groups. We conclude that patients with Alzheimer's disease have an abnormality in automatic, but not controlled visuospatial attention.
|Translated title of the contribution||Spatial shifts in visual attention in normal ageing and dementia of the Alzheimer type|
|Pages (from-to)||2000 - 2012|
|Number of pages||13|
|Publication status||Published - Dec 2002|