The effects of visual and auditory interference on a visual scanning task were compared with children from the third grade and college sophomores. A highly confusable visual context significantly reduced scanning rate for both children and adults, but a highly confusable auditory context, played over earphones, had no effect on either group. There was a significant age interaction with interfering visual context. It seems likely that theories assuming auditory encoding of visually presented graphic items have little predictive value for a scanning task. © 1966, Psychonomic Press. All rights reserved.