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ERIC Number: EJ1029395
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2013-Dec
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: N/A
ISSN: ISSN-1092-4388
The Effects of Semantic Context and the Type and Amount of Acoustic Distortion on Lexical Decision by Younger and Older Adults
Goy, Huiwen; Pelletier, Marianne; Coletta, Marco; Pichora-Fuller, M. Kathleen
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, v56 n6 p1715-1732 Dec 2013
Purpose: In this study, the authors investigated how acoustic distortion affected younger and older adults' use of context in a lexical decision task. Method: The authors measured lexical decision reaction times (RTs) when intact target words followed acoustically distorted sentence contexts. Contexts were semantically congruent, neutral, or incongruent. Younger adults (n = 216) were tested on three distortion types: low-pass filtering, time compression, and masking by multitalker babble, using two amounts of distortion selected to control for word recognition accuracy. Older adults (n = 108) were tested on two amounts of time compression and one low-pass filtering condition. Results: For both age groups, there was robust facilitation by congruent contexts but minimal inhibition by incongruent contexts. Facilitation decreased as distortion increased. Older listeners had slower RTs than younger listeners, but this difference was smaller in congruent than in neutral or incongruent conditions. After controlling for word recognition accuracy, older listeners' RTs were slower in time-compressed than in low-pass filtering conditions, but younger listeners performed similarly in both conditions. Conclusions: These RT results highlight the interdependence between bottom-up sensory and top-down semantic processing. Consistent with previous findings based on accuracy measures, compared with younger adults, older adults were disproportionately slowed when speech was time compressed but more facilitated by congruent contexts.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A