ERIC Number: EJ1151180
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Jul
Abstractor: As Provided
The Effect of Stimulus Valence on Lexical Retrieval in Younger and Older Adults
Blackett, Deena Schwen; Harnish, Stacy M.; Lundine, Jennifer P.; Zezinka, Alexandra; Healy, Eric W.
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, v60 n7 p2081-2089 Jul 2017
Purpose: Although there is evidence that emotional valence of stimuli impacts lexical processes, there is limited work investigating its specific impact on lexical retrieval. The current study aimed to determine the degree to which emotional valence of pictured stimuli impacts naming latencies in healthy younger and older adults. Method: Eighteen healthy younger adults and 18 healthy older adults named positive, negative, and neutral images, and reaction time was measured. Results: Reaction times for positive and negative images were significantly longer than reaction times for neutral images. Reaction times for positive and negative images were not significantly different. Whereas older adults demonstrated significantly longer naming latencies overall than younger adults, the discrepancy in latency with age was far greater when naming emotional pictures. Conclusions: Emotional arousal of pictures appears to impact naming latency in younger and older adults. We hypothesize that the increase in naming latency for emotional stimuli is the result of a necessary disengagement of attentional resources from the emotional images prior to completion of the naming task. We propose that this process may affect older adults disproportionately due to a decline in attentional resources as part of normal aging, combined with a greater attentional preference for emotional stimuli.
Descriptors: Young Adults, Older Adults, Pictorial Stimuli, Emotional Response, Naming, Syntax, Reaction Time
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Sponsor: National Institutes of Health (DHHS)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: R01DC015521