New eye movement test to confirm brain-ageing effects
A new study by the University of Liverpool researchers have used a newly developed eye movement test to improve the understanding of how parts of the brain work. Healthy, older adults are widely reported to experience cognitive decline, including impairments in inhibitory control - the ability to stop ourselves thinking or doing things.
Researchers from the University’s Department of Eye and Vision Science, led by Dr Paul Knox, developed a new test, using measurements of eye movements, to provide an improved method of investigating inhibitory control, and have applied to study the effects of ageing on this ability. The results showed that older participants were much more likely to look at the dot when it appeared (not when it disappeared) and were slower compared to younger participants.
Dr Paul Knox, said, “This new test allows us to measure inhibitory behaviour precisely. It is clear that older participants found it more difficult to inhibit their actions, even once we had accounted for the general slowing that occurs with ageing. This confirms that a decline in inhibitory control is a part of normal ageing. We are doing experiments to refine the test, and then we hope to use it to study inhibitory control in a range of important diseases.”