Recent studies have highlighted the influence of visual cues such as dot size andcumulative surface area on the measurement of the approximate number system (ANS).Previous studies assessing ANS acuity in ageing have all applied stimuli generated by thePanamath protocol, which does not control nor measure the influence of convex hull.Crucially, convex hull has recently been identified as an influential visual cue presentin dot arrays, with its impact on older adults’ ANS acuity yet to be investigated. Thecurrent study therefore investigated the manipulation of convex hull by the Panamathprotocol, and its effect on the measurement of ANS acuity in younger and olderparticipants. First, analyses of the stimuli generated by Panamath revealed a confoundbetween numerosity ratio and convex hull ratio. Second, although older adults weresomewhat less accurate than younger adults on convex hull incongruent trials, ANS acuitywas broadly similar between the groups. These findings have implications for the validmeasurement of ANS acuity across all ages, and suggest that the Panamath protocol producesstimuli that do not adequately control for the influence of convex hull on numerositydiscrimination.
Quarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology – SAGE
Published: May 1, 2018
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