Performance in many everyday situations slows down when age increases. The causes of slowing down may be found on any stage of information processing. Here, we show that the combination of a vernier acuity task and the shine-through backward masking paradigm is a good paradigm to determine temporal processing deficits. The paradigm is relatively robust to optical blur and unlikely affected by motor dysfunctions. Strong masking deficits are found from an age of about 50 years on. (C) 2010 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.