Sensory Plasticity and Aging
Vision undergoes profound deterioration at both optical and neural levels in healthy aging as well as in age-related diseases. Consequently, age-related decline in vision is a major health and quality of life concern for elderly individuals. To maintain relatively constant visual percepts, the visual system must correct or compensate vision for the age-related sensitivity losses. Currently it is not clear whether the mechanisms contributing to this plasticity remain robust across the lifespan or also deteriorate with aging. Using behavioral and neuroimaging measurements, we will assess the effects of aging on the plasticity of the visual system and specifically whether aging effects on short-term plasticity differ in quantitative or qualitative ways between central vision and the visual periphery, two regions of the visual field that carry different visual functions and are processed at separate neural sites.