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Psychology

Western Kentucky University

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

Aging

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The Effects Of Bingocize® On Cognitive Aging: A Health Promotion Intervention, Rilee Pauline Mathews Apr 2018

The Effects Of Bingocize® On Cognitive Aging: A Health Promotion Intervention, Rilee Pauline Mathews

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

Previous research has suggested that physical exercise can play a role in not only improving functional performance, but also cognitive function. In this study, adults age 60 and older participated in a health promotion intervention that included two groups: (a) a Bingocize® group, who exercised and learned about relevant health information while playing bingo, and (b) a control group who only learned about relevant health information while playing bingo. The intervention was completed over the course of 10- weeks at community senior centers. Cognitive function, functional fitness, and health knowledge were assessed before and after the intervention to test for ...


Impact Of Expressive Intensity And Stimulus Location On Emotion Detection, Brittany Nicole Groh Jul 2017

Impact Of Expressive Intensity And Stimulus Location On Emotion Detection, Brittany Nicole Groh

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

Previous research demonstrates that the age of an observer, the peripheral location of a face stimulus on a display, and the intensity of the emotion expressed by the face all play a role in emotion perception. Older individuals have more difficulty identifying emotion in faces, especially at lower expressive intensities. The purpose of the current study was to understand how younger and older adults’ abilities to detect emotion in facial stimuli presented in the periphery would be affected by the intensity of the emotional expressions and the distance that the expressions are presented away from the center of the display ...


The Effect Of Emotional Faces On The Attentional Blink In Younger And Older Adults, Allison M. Sklenar Jul 2016

The Effect Of Emotional Faces On The Attentional Blink In Younger And Older Adults, Allison M. Sklenar

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

The attentional blink occurs when detection of a second target (T2) is impaired when it occurs between 180 to 450 ms after the first target (T1) in a rapid serial visual presentation (RSVP). The attentional blink can be affected by relevant emotional stimuli, like emotional faces, such that an emotional T1 enhances the attentional blink, and an emotional T2 attenuates it. However, not all studies use the same type of face stimuli, and there is debate over whether schematic and photo-realistic faces are processed in the same way. Furthermore, the effect of emotion on the attentional blink should differ with ...


Effects Of Age, Task Type, And Information Load On Discrimination Learning, Morgan E. Brown Jul 2016

Effects Of Age, Task Type, And Information Load On Discrimination Learning, Morgan E. Brown

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

The feature positive effect (FPE) is a phenomenon in discrimination learning by which learning occurs more quickly when the presence (Feature positive; FP), rather than absence (Feature negative; FN) of a stimulus indicates a response should be made. Although the FPE has been extensively corroborated, a reversal, or feature negative effect (FNE), has been found when a target stimulus comes from a smaller set of stimuli (Fiedler, Eckert, & Poysiak, 1988). Age differences in FP and FN learning indicate that older adults perform more poorly than young adults on both FP and FN tasks, and are likely related to decline in ...


Age Differences In The Impact Of Emotional Cues On Subsequent Target Detection, Brandon Wade Coffey Jul 2015

Age Differences In The Impact Of Emotional Cues On Subsequent Target Detection, Brandon Wade Coffey

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

Emotional cues within the environment capture our attention and influence how we perceive our surroundings. Past research has shown that emotional cues presented before the detection of a perceptual gap can actually impair the perception of elementary visual features (e.g., the lack of detail creating a spatial gap) while simultaneously improving the perception of fast temporal features of vision (e.g., the rapid onset, offset, and re-emergence of a stimulus). This effect has been attributed to amygdalar enhancements of visual inputs conveying emotional features along magnocellular channels. The current study compared participants’ ability to detect spatial and temporal gaps ...


The Effects Of Age And Task On Visual Emotion Processing, Nicole Elaine Chambers May 2015

The Effects Of Age And Task On Visual Emotion Processing, Nicole Elaine Chambers

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

Younger adults’ perception of and attention to facial stimuli are enhanced by positive and negative emotional expressions, with negativity leading to a greater benefit than positivity. Conversely, older adults demonstrate a positivity bias, devoting more attention to positive stimuli and less to negative. It is unclear if age differences in these attentional preferences emerge due to differences in how their perceptual systems respond to positive and negative stimuli. Emotional facial expressions elicit enhanced P1 and N170 components of visually-evoked event-related potentials (ERP) over posterior scalp regions associated with vision. The current study examined the extent to which angry and happy ...


The Effects Of Decreased Uncertainty And Telescopic Versus Full Field Training On The Useful Field Of View, Lauren M. Jackson Feb 1990

The Effects Of Decreased Uncertainty And Telescopic Versus Full Field Training On The Useful Field Of View, Lauren M. Jackson

Masters Theses & Specialist Projects

The “Useful Field of View” (UFOV) is the entire area in which information can be gathered without moving the eyes or head (Ball, Beard, Roenker, Miller & Griggs, 1998). Previous research has demonstrated that the UFOV shrinks with age (Scialfa, Kline & Lyman, 1987; Plude & Doussard-Roosevelt, 1987: Ball et al., 1988). With decrement in the UFOV, everyday activities, such as driving and walking can be limited. If the area in which information is received is smaller, then objects seem to appear suddenly and here is little time to react to them. One example of an everyday activity that would be affected by this decrement is driving. Driving involved simultaneously attending to a number of different elements at the same time, for example, speed, oncoming traffic, traffic signals and signs and pedestrians. A decrement of the UFOV would adversely affect driving performance.

Only two studies have looked at training to increase the deficit in the UFOV (Sekuler & Ball, 1986: Ball, et al., 1988). Given this paucity of data, many questions have been left unanswered. This study addresses three of these questions: (a) Does target uncertainty affect older adults more adversely than younger adults?, (b) Does a recognizable pattern affect UFOV? and (c) What is the most effective training method to increase the UFOV?

Two experiments were conducted to answer these questions. In the first experiment, a reduced presentation field was designed to test the uncertainty question. Along with this reduction in the presentation, two patterns (organized pattern vs. unorganized pattern) were designed to test the effects of a restricted presentation pattern on the UFOV. These two reduced patterns were compared with the full field presentation. Although the UFOV, in general, was smaller for older participants than younger individuals, there was no effect for full field versus reduced field presentation nor an organized versus unorganized condition effect.

The second experiment addressed the efficacy of two training methods: Full field or telescoping rings. The telescoping ring training method began with presenting the targets on the edge of the field. As the participant improved his/her performance in locating the targets, the presentation ring was moved outward. The full field presentation presented targets in a full 30° radius. Analyses indicated a significant relationship between training method and UFOV.

Specifically, both training method were effective in increasing the UFOV. However, no significant difference between the two training methods was observed. Both training conditions increased the field size; however, individuals in the ringer condition were more willing to continue the training. This seems to demonstrate that the telescoping method may cause less frustration for the participants than the full field.