ERIC Number: ED199633
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1980-Dec
Physical and Psychological Decrements Affecting Reading in the Aged.
Wilson, Molly M.
While reading has been recognized as a potentially useful and enjoyable pastime for the elderly, physical and psychological decrements affect the ability of the elderly to read. As the eyes age, near-point tasks become more difficult. In addition to reduced sensory intake, perceptual changes occur. The central nervous system slows, and data travel more slowly to the brain and are integrated more slowly on arrival. Persistence of after images and increased noise in the neural system add to confusion and slow reaction time. While neither verbal abilities nor long term memory show much decline in the elderly, difficulty in forming a thought set and rigidity in using ineffective strategies affect cognitive processes. Eyeglasses, advanced methods of surgery, and specially designed reading materials are all available to compensate for the aging of the eyes. Motivation and experience are crucial in overcoming perceptual and cognitive deficits. Further research involving the elderly in reading studies is necessary. The use of elderly subjects in reading studies can also further knowledge of effects of motivation, experience, and textual organization on comprehension. (Author/HTH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Information Analyses
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the National Reading Conference (30th, San Diego, CA, December 3-6, 1980).