Age-related differences in interhemispheric visuomotor integration measured by the redundant target effect

Elisabeth Linnet, Matthew E. Roser
2012 Psychology and Aging  
Presentation of bilateral redundant visual stimuli produces faster reaction times (RT) than presentation of a single unilateral stimulus; an effect known as the redundant target effect (RTE; Miller, 1982) , and is a means of testing interhemispheric visuomotor integration (Ouimet, 2009) . RTEs that exceed expectations, based on Miller's race model of inequality (RMI), are referred to as "enhanced RTEs" and imply neural coactivation. Paradoxically, enhanced RTEs are observed in cases of corpus
more » ... llosum disruption. The Hemispheric Coactivation Hypothesis accounts for this paradox by positing that bihemispheric processing occurs to both unilateral and bilateral stimuli in the normal brain, but occurs only with bilateral stimuli in the disconnected brain. Neuroimaging has revealed decreases in the microstructural integrity of the corpus callosum with age (Ota et al., 2006) , but research investigating the bilateral RTE in healthy older individuals is lacking. The present study investigated the bilateral RTE in healthy younger and healthy older adults using simple RT and choice RT tasks. Our prediction that older individuals would show significantly larger RTEs than younger individuals was found to be true for both tasks. Tests of the RMI produced little evidence for coactivation. The crossed-uncrossed difference, generally used as a means of testing visuomotor interhemispheric transfer, was also investigated, but no age effects were found. The observation of greater RTE in age is congruent with the Hemispheric Coactivation hypothesis (Miller, 2004) in which callosal disconnection is associated with increased RTE.
doi:10.1037/a0024905 pmid:21843007 fatcat:2ffgfbqncjbj7lh3wc46pe6c24