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  Adult age differences in the benefit of syntactic and semantic constraints for sentence processing

Beese, C., Werkle-Bergner, M., Lindenberger, U., Friederici, A. D., & Meyer, L. (2019). Adult age differences in the benefit of syntactic and semantic constraints for sentence processing. Psychology and Aging, 34(1), 43-55. doi:10.1037/pag0000300.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0002-CB5D-2 Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0004-502C-1
Genre: Journal Article

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 Creators:
Beese, Caroline1, 2, Author              
Werkle-Bergner, Markus3, Author
Lindenberger, Ulmann3, 4, Author
Friederici, Angela D.1, Author              
Meyer, Lars1, Author              
Affiliations:
1Department Neuropsychology, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_634551              
2Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin, Germany, ou_persistent22              
3Center for Lifespan Psychology, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin, Germany, ou_persistent22              
4Max Planck UCL Centre for Computational Psychiatry and Ageing Research, Berlin, Germany, ou_persistent22              

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Free keywords: Aging; Chunking; Semantics; Syntax; Working memory
 Abstract: Verbal working memory-intensive sentence processing declines with age. This might reflect older adults’ difficulties with reducing the memory load by grouping single words into multiword chunks. Here we used a serial order task emphasizing syntactic and semantic relations. We evaluated the extent to which older compared with younger adults may differentially use linguistic constraints during sentence processing to cope with verbal working memory limitations. Probing syntactic–semantic interactions, age differences were hypothesized to be confined to the use of syntactic constraints and to be accompanied by an increased reliance on semantic information. Two experiments varying in verbal working memory demands were conducted: the sequence length was increased from eight items in Experiment 1 to 11 items in Experiment 2. We found the use of syntactic constraints to be compromised with aging, while the benefit of semantic information for sentence processing was comparable across age groups. Hence, we suggest that semantic information processing may become relatively more important for successful sentence processing with advancing adult age, possibly inducing a syntactic-to-semantic-processing strategy shift.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2018-08-072018-01-092018-08-072018-10-042019-02
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Method: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1037/pag0000300
PMID: 30284854
Other: Epub ahead of print
 Degree: -

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Project name : -
Grant ID : WE 4269/5-1
Funding program : -
Funding organization : German Research Foundation (DFG)
Project name : -
Grant ID : -
Funding program : Jacobs Foundation Research Fellowship
Funding organization : Jacobs Foundation

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Title: Psychology and Aging
Source Genre: Journal
 Creator(s):
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Publ. Info: -
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 34 (1) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 43 - 55 Identifier: ISSN: 0882-7974
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954925548313