Age-related differences in the attention network test (ANT)

Exp Aging Res. 2010 Jul;36(3):287-305. doi: 10.1080/0361073X.2010.484729.


This study investigates the effect of aging on alerting, orienting, and conflict resolution by assessing younger (mean age = 25.8) and older (mean age = 67.9) adults' performance in the Attention Network Test that combines, in a single experimental paradigm, a flanker task with alerting and orienting cues. The analyses of response times indicated equivalent orienting and conflict resolution effects in younger and older adults. By contrast, alerting was found to be significantly reduced in the elderly. This result is only marginally in accordance with recent studies addressing the issues of age-related differences in alerting, which provide mixed results. The possible role of methodological differences across studies in accounting for the controversial results concerning the aging affect on alerting is discussed.

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Attention / physiology*
  • Conflict, Psychological
  • Cues
  • Education
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Neuropsychological Tests*
  • Orientation / physiology
  • Photic Stimulation
  • Psychomotor Performance / physiology
  • Reaction Time / physiology
  • Young Adult