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People make goal directed movements to interact with their environment. Age related changes to goal directed movements may be due to sensory related and motor related decline and could also be affected by more generalised slowing of neural processing. However, the mechanisms underlying changes to sensorimotor control are poorly understood. We used a simple pointing task and a visual localisation task to investigate these mechanisms. We compared performance between visually normal older people and those with central (age related macular degeneration) and peripheral (glaucoma) visual field loss. Results indicate that eye position continues to play a significant role for pointing performance, even in the absence of the central visual field. Our results also suggest that declines in pointing performance with age reflect changes to sensorimotor integration, particularly online integration of visual information.
Associate Professor Anna Ma-Wyatt was awarded a BA (Hons) from the University of Sydney and a PhD from Macquarie University. She worked as a postdoctoral fellow at UWA and then won a Rachel C Atkinson Fellowship at the Smith-Kettlewell Eye Research Institute (USA). She returned to Australia to take up a lectureship at the University of Adelaide. She is currently an Associate Professor in the School of Psychology.