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ERIC Number: ED209663
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Aug
Pages: 12
Abstractor: N/A
Reference Count: 0
Aging and Semantic Activation.
Howard, Darlene V.
Three studies tested the theory that long term memory consists of a semantically organized network of concept nodes interconnected by leveled associations or relations, and that when a stimulus is processed, the corresponding concept node is assumed to be temporarily activated and this activation spreads to nearby semantically related nodes. In the first study investigating semantic interference, it was found that both elderly subjects and college students took longer to call out the ink color when the printed word was semantically related to designated words held in memory than when it was not related. In the second study, elderly subjects showed at least as much semantic priming as younger subjects, that is, pairs of letter strings were identified as words more rapidly if the words were semantically related than when they were unrelated. In both studies the stimuli were highly associated with each other, so a third study was conducted, varying the degree of association, to see whether age differences in priming would appear for less highly associated pairs. Participants were asked to state whether pairs of letter strings printed one above the other were words, with the response time recorded. The results showed that the magnitude of the priming effect did not vary with age or with associativity of word pairs, thus indicating that automatic processes do not change during aging. (HTH)
Publication Type: Speeches/Meeting Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the American Psychological Association (89th, Los Angeles, CA, August 1981).