Egocentric navigation is age-resistant: first direct behavioral evidence

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A number of studies have documented that allocentric navigation skills deteriorate in older age. Indirect evidence suggests that egocentric navigation skills are less vulnerable to aging, but behavioral data supporting this view were not available yet. To close this gap in our knowledge, we designed two matching tasks, one for allocentric and one for egocentric navigation, and administered them to young and to older persons. In accordance with published behavioral data, we observed substantial age-related deficits in the allocentric task. In accordance with the available indirect evidence, we found only negligible age deficits in the egocentric task. Age deficits in the allocentric task were not associated with participants' performance in tests of visuo-spatial cognition, or with self-assessed computer experience, everyday mobility and navigation skill. Our findings suggest that training intervention, aimed at improving older persons' navigation skills, should focus on allocentric skills and eliminate possible egocentric workaround strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Article number5
JournalCurrent Neurobiology
Volume9
Issue number2
Pages (from-to)69-75
Number of pages7
ISSN0975-9042
Publication statusPublished - 23.07.2018

ID: 3551405

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