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    Working memory predicts semantic comprehension in dichotic listening in older adults

    James, Philip John and Krishnan, Saloni and Aydelott, Jennifer (2014) Working memory predicts semantic comprehension in dichotic listening in older adults. Cognition 133 (1), pp. 32-42. ISSN 0010-0277.

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    Abstract

    Older adults have difficulty understanding spoken language in the presence of competing voices. Everyday social situations involving multiple simultaneous talkers may become increasingly challenging in later life due to changes in the ability to focus attention. This study examined whether individual differences in cognitive function predict older adults’ ability to access sentence-level meanings in competing speech using a dichotic priming paradigm. Older listeners showed faster responses to words that matched the meaning of spoken sentences presented to the left or right ear, relative to a neutral baseline. However, older adults were more vulnerable than younger adults to interference from competing speech when the competing signal was presented to the right ear. This pattern of performance was strongly correlated with a non-auditory working memory measure, suggesting that cognitive factors play a key role in semantic comprehension in competing speech in healthy aging.

    Metadata

    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Aging, Psycholinguistics, Auditory language processing, Dichotic listening, Working memory
    School: Birkbeck Schools and Departments > School of Science > Psychological Sciences
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 23 Jun 2014 09:29
    Last Modified: 24 Jun 2014 12:56
    URI: http://eprints.bbk.ac.uk/id/eprint/10009

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