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Multisensory Integration Strategy for Modality-Specific Loss of Inhibition Control in Older Adults

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Department of Industrial Engineering, Hanyang University, 222 Wangsimni-ro, Seongdong-gu, Seoul 04763, Korea
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Department of Arts and Technology, Hanyang University, 222 Wangsimni-ro, Seongdong-gu, Seoul 04763, Korea
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Smart Factory Business Division, Samsung SDS, 35 Olympic Ro, Seoul 05510, Korea
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(4), 718; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15040718
Received: 14 February 2018 / Revised: 25 March 2018 / Accepted: 6 April 2018 / Published: 11 April 2018
Older adults are known to have lesser cognitive control capability and greater susceptibility to distraction than young adults. Previous studies have reported age-related problems in selective attention and inhibitory control, yielding mixed results depending on modality and context in which stimuli and tasks were presented. The purpose of the study was to empirically demonstrate a modality-specific loss of inhibitory control in processing audio-visual information with ageing. A group of 30 young adults (mean age = 25.23, Standar Desviation (SD) = 1.86) and 22 older adults (mean age = 55.91, SD = 4.92) performed the audio-visual contour identification task (AV-CIT). We compared performance of visual/auditory identification (Uni-V, Uni-A) with that of visual/auditory identification in the presence of distraction in counterpart modality (Multi-V, Multi-A). The findings showed a modality-specific effect on inhibitory control. Uni-V performance was significantly better than Multi-V, indicating that auditory distraction significantly hampered visual target identification. However, Multi-A performance was significantly enhanced compared to Uni-A, indicating that auditory target performance was significantly enhanced by visual distraction. Additional analysis showed an age-specific effect on enhancement between Uni-A and Multi-A depending on the level of visual inhibition. Together, our findings indicated that the loss of visual inhibitory control was beneficial for the auditory target identification presented in a multimodal context in older adults. A likely multisensory information processing strategy in the older adults was further discussed in relation to aged cognition. View Full-Text
Keywords: inhibitory control; multisensory integration; audio-visual contour identification; ageing; modality-specific effect inhibitory control; multisensory integration; audio-visual contour identification; ageing; modality-specific effect
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Lee, A.; Ryu, H.; Kim, J.-K.; Jeong, E. Multisensory Integration Strategy for Modality-Specific Loss of Inhibition Control in Older Adults. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 718.

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