Advancing age is associated with decrements in selective attention. It was recently hypothesized that age-related differences in selective attention depend on sensory modality. The goal of the present study was to investigate the role of sensory modality in age-related vulnerability to distraction, using a response interference task. To this end, 16 younger (mean age = 23.1 years) and 24 older (mean age = 65.3 years) adults performed four response interference tasks, involving all combinations of visual and auditory targets and distractors. The results showed that response interference effects differ across sensory modalities, but not across age groups. These results indicate that sensory modality plays an important role in vulnerability to distraction, but not in age-related distractibility by irrelevant spatial information.
Guerreiro, M. J. S., Adam, J. J., & van Gerven, P. W. M. (2014). Aging and response interference across sensory modalities. Psychonomic Bulletin & Review, 21(3), 836-842. https://doi.org/10.3758/s13423-013-0554-5