The Two Sides of Sensory–Cognitive Interactions: Effects of Age, Hearing Acuity, and Working Memory Span on Sentence Comprehension

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dc.contributor.author DeCaro, Renee
dc.contributor.author Peelle, Jonathan E.
dc.contributor.author Grossman, Murray
dc.contributor.author Wingfeld, Arthur
dc.date.accessioned 2018-02-15T15:40:08Z
dc.date.available 2018-02-15T15:40:08Z
dc.date.issued 2016-02-29
dc.identifier.citation DeCaro R, Peelle JE, Grossman M and Wingfield A (2016) The Two Sides of Sensory–Cognitive Interactions: Effects of Age, Hearing Acuity, and Working Memory Span on Sentence Comprehension. Front. Psychol. 7:236.
dc.identifier.issn 1664-1078
dc.identifier.uri http://hdl.handle.net/10192/35453
dc.description Published version an be found on Frontiers in Psychology's site: https://www.frontiersin.org/articles/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00236/full#h9
dc.description.abstract Reduced hearing acuity is among the most prevalent of chronic medical conditions among older adults. An experiment is reported in which comprehension of spoken sentences was tested for older adults with good hearing acuity or with a mild-to-moderate hearing loss, and young adults with age-normal hearing. Comprehension was measured by participants’ ability to determine the agent of an action in sentences that expressed this relation with a syntactically less complex subject-relative construction or a syntactically more complex object-relative construction. Agency determination was further challenged by inserting a prepositional phrase into sentences between the person performing an action and the action being performed. As a control, prepositional phrases of equivalent length were also inserted into sentences in a non-disruptive position. Effects on sentence comprehension of age, hearing acuity, prepositional phrase placement and sound level of stimulus presentations appeared only for comprehension of sentences with the more syntactically complex object-relative structures. Working memory as tested by reading span scores accounted for a significant amount of the variance in comprehension accuracy. Once working memory capacity and hearing acuity were taken into account, chronological age among the older adults contributed no further variance to comprehension accuracy. Results are discussed in terms of the positive and negative effects of sensory–cognitive interactions in comprehension of spoken sentences and lend support to a framework in which domain-general executive resources, notably verbal working memory, play a role in both linguistic and perceptual processing.
dc.description.sponsorship Supported by the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Heath under award numbers R01 AG019714 and R01 AG038490 and support from the W.M. Keck Foundation.
dc.language English
dc.language.iso eng
dc.publisher Frontiers Media
dc.rights Copyright by the authors 2016
dc.subject Working memory
dc.subject Hearing acuity
dc.subject Sentence comprehension
dc.subject Adult aging
dc.subject Syntactic structure
dc.title The Two Sides of Sensory–Cognitive Interactions: Effects of Age, Hearing Acuity, and Working Memory Span on Sentence Comprehension
dc.type Article
dc.identifier.doi https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2016.00236


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