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Age-associated changes in specific errors on the Benton Visual Retention Test.


While total errors on the Benton Visual Retention Test (BVRT) are known to increase in normal aging, there is little information on changes for specific error types. We examined the differential increase in seven specific error categories for 2,000 participants in the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging. Cross-sectional analyses indicated that all errors increased with age, but differences between age groups in error profiles suggested relatively greater age effects for distortions, omissions, and rotations. There were also significant gender differences in error profiles, reflecting increased rotation and omission errors in females. Longitudinal analyses of age changes for a subset of 673 participants with three BVRT assessments were consistent with the cross-sectional data and indicated intra-individual increases with age in distortions, omissions, and rotations. While women made more omission errors, men showed steeper increases in omission errors with age. These findings suggest that cerebral aging impacts all categories of BVRT errors but has differential effects on particular error types.

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