Visual Word Recognition Across the Adult Lifespan

    loading  Checking for direct PDF access through Ovid

Abstract

The current study examines visual word recognition in a large sample (N = 148) across the adult life span and across a large set of stimuli (N = 1,187) in three different lexical processing tasks (pronunciation, lexical decision, and animacy judgment). Although the focus of the present study is on the influence of word frequency, a diverse set of other variables are examined as the word recognition system ages and acquires more experience with language. Computational models and conceptual theories of visual word recognition and aging make differing predictions for age-related changes in the system. However, these have been difficult to assess because prior studies have produced inconsistent results, possibly because of sample differences, analytic procedures, and/or task-specific processes. The current study confronts these potential differences by using 3 different tasks, treating age and word variables as continuous, and exploring the influence of individual differences such as vocabulary, vision, and working memory. The primary finding is remarkable stability in the influence of a diverse set of variables on visual word recognition across the adult age spectrum. This pattern is discussed in reference to previous inconsistent findings in the literature and implications for current models of visual word recognition.

Related Topics

    loading  Loading Related Articles