Adult aging, processing style, and the perception of biological motion.

College of Life Sciences and Medicine, School of Psychology, University of Aberdeen, William Guild Building, Kings College, Aberdeen AB24 2UB, UK.
Experimental Aging Research (Impact Factor: 1.11). 03/2012; 38(2):169-85. DOI: 10.1080/0361073X.2012.660030
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT BACKGROUND/STUDY CONTEXT: Social perception may be influenced by the extent to which individuals focus on global, rather than local, detail-based, processing of information about others. Here the authors investigated whether global processing biases relate to successful detection of actions and emotions from point-light biological motion (BM) stimuli. Also explored is whether age differences in BM perception and global-local processing biases are related.
One hundred and twenty-seven participants (aged 18 to 86) completed tasks assessing BM perception and global-local processing.
Successful decoding of actions and emotions from BM stimuli was correlated with global processing bias. Older adults performed more poorly on BM decoding and had a local processing bias. However, age differences in global-local processing could not fully explain differences in decoding actions or emotions from point-light displays.
Therefore, although there was an association between age, perceptual processing bias, and detection of BM, other factors must be important in explaining age-related change in social perception.

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