ABSTRACT: The earliest studies of Navon (1977) showed that in certain conditions the visual perception of hierarchical stimuli generates a global precedence effect. This hypothesis is based on the joint occurrence of two effects: a response time (RT) advantage for identifying global targets and interference by global distractors when responding to a local target. The aim of the present study was to determine the involvement of attentional mechanisms and whether certain aspects are specifically altered by normal aging. In a selective-attention task, a complete global precedence effect was found for young and old subjects. However, for the old subjects, global interference on local identification was more pronounced than for the young subjects. In a divided-attention task, the RT advantage was affected by attention shifts between global and local forms for both young and old subjects, but the global interference effect did not change.
Brain and Cognition 09/2001; 46(3):383-96. · 3.17 Impact Factor