Natalie A. Phillips

Natalie A. Phillips
Concordia University Montreal · Department of Psychology

Ph.D.

About

130
Publications
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19,015
Citations
Additional affiliations
January 2009 - present
The University of Western Ontario
January 2007 - present
January 2006 - December 2007

Publications

Publications (130)
Article
Full-text available
Research on bilingualism has grown exponentially in recent years. However, the comprehension of speech in noise, given the ubiquity of both bilingualism and noisy environments, has seen only limited focus. Electroencephalogram (EEG) studies in monolinguals show an increase in alpha power when listening to speech in noise, which, in the theoretical...
Article
Purpose: Hearing loss (HL) is associated with cognitive performance in older adults, including performance on the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA), a brief cognitive screening test. Yet, despite well-established sex-related differences in both hearing and cognition, very few studies have tested whether there are sex-related differences in audi...
Article
Full-text available
Alzheimer’s disease is a major cause of morbidity and mortality. Currently, there are no disease-modifying pharmacotherapies for this condition. Aducanumab, an amyloid beta-directed monoclonal antibody that targets aggregated forms of amyloid-beta in the brains of people with Alzheimer’s disease, has raised hopes that such a therapy has been discov...
Article
We have demonstrated that olfactory dysfunction is common in Alzheimer’s disease (AD), and is associated with poorer episodic memory performance and medial temporal lobe (MTL) integrity in groups at risk for AD. Olfactory decline is also common in Parkinson’s disease (PD); however, the difference in pathology between these diseases remains poorly u...
Article
Hearing loss and mild behavioral impairment (MBI) are both early warning signs of cognitive decline and dementia in older adults and have been recommended for use as non‐cognitive markers of dementia. To date, few studies have directly investigated the relationship between these two markers. Baseline data from 219 non‐demented participants (10 cogn...
Article
Background: Visual impairment is associated with deficits in cognitive function and risk for cognitive decline and Alzheimer's disease (AD). Objective: The purpose of this study was to characterize the degree of visual impairment and explore the association thereof with cortical atrophy in brain regions associated with visual processing in indiv...
Article
Full-text available
Using data from the COMPASS-ND study we investigated associations between hearing loss and hippocampal volume as well as cortical thickness in older adults with subjective cognitive decline (SCD), mild cognitive impairment (MCI), and Alzheimer’s dementia (AD). SCD participants with greater pure-tone hearing loss exhibited lower hippocampal volume,...
Article
Objective Compare a telephone version and full version of the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA). Methods Cross-sectional analysis of a prospective study. A 20-point telephone version of MoCA (Tele-MoCA) was compared to the Full-MoCA and Mini Mental State Examination. Results Total of 140 participants enrolled. Mean scores for language were sig...
Article
We examined lexical stress processing in English-French bilinguals. Auditory mismatch negativity (MMN) responses were recorded in response to English and French pseudowords, whose primary stress occurred either on a language-consistent “usual” or language-inconsistent “unusual” syllable. In most conditions, the pseudowords elicited two consecutive...
Article
Full-text available
Introduction Cognitive reserve can be defined as a property of the brain that enables an individual to sustain cognitive performance in spite of age-related neural changes. This study uses brain imaging to identify which cognitive reserve mechanisms protect against the detrimental effect of hippocampal atrophy on associative memory. Methods The st...
Article
Despite the multifactorial space of language experience in which people continuously vary, bilinguals are often dichotomized into ostensibly homogeneous groups. The timing of language exposure (age of acquisition) to a second language (L2) is one well-studied construct that is known to impact language processing, cognitive processing, and brain org...
Article
Full-text available
Prior studies have reported that older adults can benefit from formal educational programs about dementia. Participating in an online educational program focusing on risk and protective factors could potentially increase participants’ dementia literacy, empowerment, and engagement in brain health promotion, which in turn could reduce their dementia...
Article
Full-text available
There is a strong relationship between sensory and cognitive function in older adults and impairment in hearing, vision, and olfaction are each independently associated with dementia. However, these have rarely been examined together in persons with dementia, nor their concurrent relationship with cognitive function and brain structure. The Compreh...
Article
Full-text available
The Fifth Canadian Consensus Conference on the Diagnosis and Treatment of Dementia (CCCDTD-5) was a year-long process to synthesize the best available evidence on several topics. Our group undertook evaluation of risk reduction, in eight domains: nutrition; physical activity; hearing; sleep; cognitive training and stimulation; social engagement and...
Preprint
Despite the multifactorial space of language experience in which people continuously vary, bilinguals are often dichotomized into ostensibly homogeneous groups. The timing of language exposure (age of acquisition; AoA) to a second language (L2) is one well-studied construct that is known to impact language processing, cognitive processing, and brai...
Article
The purpose of this study was to describe the prevalence of hearing loss (HL), vision loss (VL), and dual sensory loss (DSL) in Canadians 45–85 years of age. Audiometry and visual acuity were measured. Various levels of impairment severity were described. Results were extrapolated to the 2016 Canadian population. In 2016, 1,500,000 Canadian males 4...
Preprint
BACKGROUND Age-related vision impairment and dementia both become more prevalent with increasing age. Research into the mechanisms of these conditions has proposed that some of their causes (e.g., macular degeneration/glaucoma and Alzheimer’s disease) could be symptoms of an underlying common cause, or may be equally linked to a multifactorial cont...
Article
Full-text available
Background Age-related vision impairments and dementia both become more prevalent with increasing age. Research into the mechanisms of these conditions has proposed that some of their causes (eg, macular degeneration/glaucoma and Alzheimer’s disease) could be symptoms of an underlying common cause. Research into sensory-cognitive aging has provided...
Article
Full-text available
Sensory and cognitive function both tend to decline with increasing age. Sensory impairments are risk factors for age-related cognitive decline and dementia. One hypothesis about sensory-cognitive associations is that sensory loss results in social isolation which, in turn, is a risk factor for cognitive decline. We tested whether social factors ar...
Article
Full-text available
Objective: The concepts of mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and subjective cognitive decline (SCD) have been proposed to identify individuals in the early stages of Alzheimer's disease (AD), or other neurodegenerative diseases. One approach to validate these concepts is to investigate the relationship between pathological brain markers and cognitio...
Poster
Full-text available
Age-related macular degeneration is the most common cause of vision impairment in people aged 55 years or older and has been associated with lower cognitive function and a higher risk of dementia. Vision rehabilitation using magnification devices (e.g. magnifier, CCTV) can reduce the amount of effort necessary for reading. Successful reading rehabi...
Article
Full-text available
This study’s main objective was to assess the sensitivity and specificity of the interRAI Community Health Assessment (CHA) for detecting the presence of vision loss (VL), hearing loss (HL) or both (Dual Sensory Loss, DSL) when compared against performance-based measures of vision and hearing. The interRAI CHA and the Montreal Cognitive Assessment...
Preprint
Full-text available
Objectives. Our objectives were to 1) determine the prevalence of self-reported hearing, vision and dual sensory (both vision and hearing) difficulties in older Canadian adults; 2) examine the association between self-report and behavioral sensory measures; and 3) controlling for behavioral sensory measures, examine variables that might explain sel...
Preprint
Full-text available
Sensory and cognitive function both tend to decline with increasing age. Sensory impairments are risk factors for age-related cognitive decline and dementia. One hypothesis about sensory-cognitive associations is that sensory loss results in social isolation which, in turn, is a risk factor for cognitive decline. We tested whether social factors ar...
Preprint
Full-text available
Objective: To describe the prevalence of hearing loss (HL), vision loss (VL) and dual sensory loss (DSL) in Canadians aged 45-85. Methods: Data from the first wave of the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging were used. Audiometry and visual acuity were measured. Prevalence proportions for 2012-2015 and counts for 2011 and 2016 were estimated.Result...
Preprint
Full-text available
In epidemiology studies, researchers may choose to use summary scores of hearing or visionbased on self-report or clinical measures. Self-report and clinical measures may yield differentclassifications. Of the possible clinical measures, there is no consensus regarding which puretonethreshold average (PTA) or visual acuity (VA) measures are optimal...
Conference Paper
Background: Persons with Subjective Cognitive Decline (SCD) complain about their memory, but perform within normal ranges on standard neuropsychological tests. It has been proposed that these individuals might be in a very early phase of Alzheimer’s disease (AD). However, SCD is a recent classification and it represents a heterogeneous group of ind...
Article
Given the ubiquity of noisy environments and increasing globalization, the necessity to perceive speech in noise in a non-native language is common and necessary for successful communication. In the current investigation, bilingual individuals who learned their non-native language at different ages underwent magnetic resonance imaging while listeni...
Conference Paper
Introduction : Le continuum cognitif lié à la maladie d’Alzheimer (MA) est décrit comme allant de l'absence de symptômes à l'expression d'une plainte subjective, jusqu’à une altération objective, tout cela parallèlement à une accumulation de marqueurs neuropathologiques. Les concepts de trouble cognitif léger (TCL) et de déclin cognitif subjectif (...
Article
Full-text available
In this analysis of data from the Canadian Longitudinal Study on Aging, vision loss (in men) and dual sensory loss (in 65- to 85-year-olds) were independently associated with low social network diversity. Vision loss and dual sensory loss (in 65- to 85-year-olds) were independently associated with low social participation. Hearing, vision, and dual...
Article
Given previous, but inconsistent, findings of language group differences on cognitive control tasks the current investigation examined whether such differences could be demonstrated in a sample of older bilingual adults. Monolingual and bilingual older adults performed three cognitive control tasks that have previously been used in the literature (...
Poster
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Common risk factors for long-term care (LTC) admission include increasing age, being female, living alone, and impaired cognition. It is unclear how a single sensory impairment (SI; e.g., vision loss or hearing loss alone) or dual SI (both vision and hearing loss; DSI) affects this outcome, although these issues are highly prevalent among older adu...
Article
This review article considers some of the age-related changes in cognition that are likely to interact with hearing, listening effort, and cognitive energy. The focus of the review is on normative age-related changes in cognition; however, consideration is also given to older adults who experience clinically significant deficits in cognition, such...
Article
Full-text available
The Fifth Eriksholm Workshop on "Hearing Impairment and Cognitive Energy" was convened to develop a consensus among interdisciplinary experts about what is known on the topic, gaps in knowledge, the use of terminology, priorities for future research, and implications for practice. The general term cognitive energy was chosen to facilitate the broad...
Article
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This study examined the effect of auditory-visual (AV) speech stimuli on working memory in older adults with poorer-hearing (PH) in comparison to age- and education-matched older adults with better hearing (BH). Participants completed a working memory n-back task (0- to 2-back) in which sequences of digits were presented in visual-only (i.e., speec...
Article
Relational elements of language (e.g. spatial prepositions) act to direct attention to aspects of an incoming message. The listener or reader must be able to use these elements to focus and refocus attention on the mental representation being constructed. Research has shown that this type of attention control is specific to language and can be dist...
Article
Full-text available
When speakers engage in conversation, acoustic features of their utterances sometimes converge. We examined how the speech rate of participants changed when a confederate spoke at fast or slow rates during readings of scripted dialogues. A beat-tracking algorithm extracted the periodic relations between stressed syllables (beats) from acoustic reco...
Article
Although the relationship between aging and cognitive decline is well established, there is substantial individual variability in the degree of cognitive decline in older adults. The present study investigates whether variability in cognitive performance in community-dwelling older adults is related to the presence of whole brain or tract-specific...
Article
Un grand merci à Shari Baum and Debra Titone for their review paper, “Moving Toward a Neuroplasticity View of Bilingualism, Executive Control and Aging.” (Please note the code switch in that previous sentence is part of my effort to build my cognitive reserve.) The authors are to be congratulated for providing a timely and constructive review of th...
Article
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Our understanding of the complex interplay between structural and functional organisation of brain networks is being advanced by the development of novel multi-modal analyses approaches. The Age-ility Project (Phase 1) data repository offers open access to structural MRI, diffusion MRI, and resting-state fMRI scans, as well as resting-state EEG rec...
Article
Full-text available
There is an emerging literature suggesting that speaking two or more languages may significantly delay the onset of dementia. Although the mechanisms are unknown, it has been suggested that these may involve cognitive reserve, a concept that has been associated with factors such as higher levels of education, occupational status, social networks, a...
Article
Objectives To assess the usefulness of the Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) total score (MoCA-TS) and Memory Index Score (MoCA-MIS) in predicting conversion to Alzheimer's disease (AD) in individuals with mild cognitive impairment (MCI).DesignRetrospective chart review.SettingCommunity-based memory clinic.ParticipantsIndividuals meeting Peterse...
Article
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It has been argued that speech production errors are monitored by the same neural system involved in monitoring other types of action errors. Behavioral evidence has shown that speech errors can be detected and corrected prior to articulation, yet the neural basis for such pre-articulatory speech error monitoring is poorly understood. The current s...
Article
Full-text available
The current study used concurrent acquisition of motion capture and event-related potential (ERP) data to test the prediction that response reprogramming relies on context-updating processes, and that age differences in conflicting-response performance are related to context-updating deficits in the elderly. Participants performed a motor sequencin...
Article
Full-text available
Auditory-visual (AV) speech enhances speech perception and facilitates auditory processing, as measured by event-related brain potentials (ERPs). Considering a perspective of shared resources between perceptual and cognitive processes, facilitated speech perception may render more resources available for higher-order functions. This study examined...
Chapter
The Montreal Cognitive Assessment (MoCA) is a cognitive screening instrument developed to detect mild cognitive impairment (MCI). It is a simple 10 minute paper and pencil test that assesses multiple cognitive domains including memory, language, executive functions, visuospatial skills, calculation, abstraction, attention, concentration, and orient...
Article
Full-text available
Amnestic mild cognitive impairment (aMCI) represents a group of individuals who are highly likely to develop Alzheimer's disease (AD). Although aMCI is typically conceptualized as involving predominantly deficits in episodic memory, recent studies have demonstrated that deficits in executive functioning may also be present, and thorough categorizat...
Article
An advantage for bilingual relative to monolingual young adults has been found for cognitive control tasks, although this finding is not consistent in the literature. The present investigation further examined this advantage using three tasks previously found to be sensitive to the effect. Furthermore, both behavioral and event-related brain potent...
Article
Full-text available
Previous research has found an advantage for bilinguals relative to monolinguals on tasks of attentional control. This advantage has been found to be larger in older adults than in young adults, suggesting that bilingualism provides a buffer against age-related declines in executive functioning. Using a computerized Stroop task in a nonimmigrant sa...
Article
The process of combining two words to create or identify a new concept is highly productive in English. A noun–noun compound may be interpreted by integrating a feature of the modifying noun into the head noun’s representation (property interpretation), or by aligning the referents in a context (relational interpretation). In the present study, you...
Article
The primary goal of this study was to evaluate the false recognition phenomenon in persons with frontotemporal dementia (FTD) and those with Lewy-body disease (LBD). Patients with LBD (n=10) or FTD (n=15) and their corresponding controls (n=30) were subjected to the Deese-Roediger-McDermott (DRM) paradigm to induce false recognition. Patients were...
Article
Full-text available
The current study addressed the question whether audiovisual (AV) speech can improve speech perception in older and younger adults in a noisy environment. Event-related potentials (ERPs) were recorded to investigate age-related differences in the processes underlying AV speech perception. Participants performed an object categorization task in thre...
Article
To assess executive function in patients with mild cognitive impairment (MCI) and to determine whether task switching ability is associated with transition to Alzheimer's disease. Twenty-seven MCI patients and 19 older controls were tested using a cued letter-digit classification switching task. Sixteen patients could perform the task (MCI-able), 6...
Article
Full-text available
Reaction time (RT) and the N400 ERP component were measured to examine age-related differences in bilingual language processing. Although young bilinguals appear to access both languages simultaneously (i.e., non-selective access), little is known about language selection in older adults. The effect of language context on language selectivity was i...
Article
We used event-related potentials to examine the interaction between two dimensions of discourse comprehension: (i) referential dependencies across sentences (e.g. between the pronoun 'it' and its antecedent 'a novel' in: 'John is reading a novel. It ends quite abruptly'), and (ii) the distinction between reference to events/situations and entities/...
Article
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Recent research has taken advantage of the temporal and spatial resolution of event-related brain potentials (ERPs) and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to identify the time course and neural circuitry of preparatory processes required to switch between different tasks. Here we overview some key findings contributing to understanding st...
Article
Full-text available
Evaluating the cognitive status of individuals who are visually impaired is limited by the design of the test that is used. This article presents data on the sensitivity and specificity of the version of the Montreal Cognitive Assessment for people who are visually impaired. The original validation data were reanalyzed, excluding the five visual it...
Article
A recent paper by Bialystok et al in Neuropsychologia (vol. 45, pgs. 459 to 464) suggested that early bilingualism produced a statistically significant 4.1-year delay in onset of memory loss symptoms in older individuals with Alzheimer disease, possibly reflecting an increase in the cognitive reserve of these individuals. That study focused on mult...