Master's Theses



Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


The primary purpose of this study was to examine the relationship of cognitive functioning between matched eidetic and noneidetic aged subjects. In addition, the relationships between eidetic imagery, color afterimage, and Necker cube were examined. Fifty-nine individuals, post 65-years of age, served as subjects. Twenty-nine of the subject volunteers resided in rest homes and the remaining 30 subjects lived in housing for the elderly. The underlying hypothesis of the study was that eidetic imagery re-emerges as a function of advancing age. The eidetic imagery, evaluated by performance on the picture description task, was identified in zero participants in the present investigation. As a result, the relationship of eidetic imagery to cognitive functioning, color afterimage, and Necker cube could not be assessed. However, the presence of color afterimage was found to be significantly related to those under the median age (78 years) residing in housing for the elderly. In addition, the absence of Necker cube reversals was significantly related to those above the median age (78 years) from both residences, those above the median age from housing for the elderly, and the total rest home sample. Matched subjects on the Necker task (high frequency of reversal rate versus zero reversals) were administered the Vocabulary and Block Design subtests on the WAIS. No significant relationships were found between the performances of the two matched groups on the WAIS. However, within group differences supported previous research which indicated that the Block Design performance of the elderly decreased while the Vocabulary ability remained intact (Storandt, 1977; Eisdorfer, Busse, and Cohen, as cited in Botwinick, 1978). Because the results of the present investigation of eidetic imagery in the aged failed to support the earlier research of Giray et al. (1978), further research is needed to help determine the factors involved in re-emergence of the phenomenon or to support the results of the present study.


Paul Zelhart

Date of Award

Fall 1981

Document Type

Thesis - campus only access


© 1981 Linda K. Bieker


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