Article

Working memory predicts semantic comprehension in dichotic listening in older adults

Authors:
To read the full-text of this research, you can request a copy directly from the authors.

No full-text available

Request Full-text Paper PDF

To read the full-text of this research,
you can request a copy directly from the authors.

... In the field studies have been conducted on the relationship between working memory and reading, listening, speaking and writing regarding the direct and indirect impact of working memory on these language skills. Reading is one of the most investigated skill regarding the impact of working memory (Baddeley and Wilson,1988;Abu Rabia, 2001;Friedman and Miyake, 2004;Chun and Payne, 2004;Walter , 2004;Naumann, Richter, Christmann, andGroeben, 2008, Alptekin andErcetin, 2009;Payne, Kalibatseva, and Jungers, 2009;Fontanini and Tomitch , 2009;Pae and Sevcik, 2011;Rai, Loschky, Harris and Peck, 2011;Dyke, Johns and Kukona, 2014;James, Krishnan and Aydelott, 2014). ...
... Studies were carried out to see the relationship between working memory capacity and language skills. Among these skills, reading is the most investigated skill in the literature with the studies focusing on different component of reading skill with participant groups having different language backgrounds (Baddeley and Wilson, 1988;Rai, Loschky, Harris and Peck, 2011;Naumann et al.,2008;Payne et al., 2009;Abu Rabia ,2001;Dyke, Johns and Kukona, 2014;Pae and Sevcik, 2011;Fontanini and Tomitch, 2009;Friedman and Miyake, 2004;Chun and Payne, 2004;Walter, 2004;Alptekin and Ercetin, 2009;James, Krishnan and Aydelott, 2014;Otten and Berkum, 2009). ...
Thesis
Full-text available
The purpose of this study is to develop a production span test to be used in L1 Turkish and L2 English and to see the role of working memory in the L1 and L2 writing process and quality. In addition to the role of working memory in writing, the study examines if working memory training leads to an increase in working memory capacity and subsequently leads to any change in the writing process and quality due to the improvement in working memory capacity. Twenty-eight freshman students from the Department of English Language Teaching (ELT) who are native speakers of Turkish participated in the study. The study consisted of two parts: a) developing a production span test in L1 Turkish and L2 English and b) examining the relationship between working memory and writing process and quality in L1 and L2, as well as the impact of working memory training on working memory capacity and the writing process in addition to writing quality in L1 and L2. Data comes from reading span test, production span tests which were used for the working memory capacity, and also Inputlog. The writing process was quantified through Inputlog and online working memory training was given to the experimental group for eight weeks through Lumosity. Statistical analyses of factor analyses of Varimax rotation, Spearman's rank-order correlation, and Mann-Whitney U test were used. Argumentative essays in L1 Turkish and L2 English were used for the writing quality and the writing process components. The findings of the study revealed implications with respect to the working memory and writing relationship and the impact of working memory training on the working memory capacity.
... Difficulties in speech perception, especially in crowded and noisy environments, cause withdrawal from family gatherings and communicating with others [8,9]. The reasons for degraded performance in noise are thought to be from decreased concentration on the target stimulus and weak capacity of shortterm working memory [10][11][12]. Consequently, individuals depend more depend on visual more than auditory information [1,13]. Furthermore, other challenges with CAPD are a deficit in academic abilities such as reading and writing [14]. ...
Article
Full-text available
Background Cincinnati Auditory Processing Inventory is used to examine difficulties with listening abilities among adolescents and adult groups and to investigate necessary skills for accurate processing of auditory information. This study aimed to develop the Persian version of the University of Cincinnati Auditory Processing Inventory (P-UCAPI) questionnaire. Methods A methodological and cross-sectional study was conducted on 121 adolescents and adults with normal auditory skills in the age range of 13- to 53-year-old in Babol city in Iran. The translation procedure was preceded according to World Health Organization (WHO). Then, item analysis, face validity, test–retest, and internal consistency were calculated. The descriptive statistics of the total score of the P-UCAPI and its subscales (listening and concentrating, understanding speech, following spoken instruction, attention, educational assistance, and other) were measured. In addition, the performance of males and females on this questionnaire was compared. The level of significance was established at (p<.05). Results A panel including two speech pathologists and one audiologist performed the content validity of the P-UCAPI and reached a consensus on all the items of the questionnaire. To investigate the need for item reduction, a Cronbach’s alpha coefficient did not change with removing of each item so, none of the items were eliminated. The mean value and standard deviation of the participants for the total scores of the P-UCAPI were obtained at 53.04 ± 10.77. The mean values and standard deviations of subscales of the P-UCAPI were: listening and concentrating (13.51 ± 4.89), understanding speech (5.77 ± 1.73), following spoken instruction (5.74±.0), attention (8.70 ± 1.24), education assistance (5.68 ± 1.85), and other (13.98 ± 3.84). Males and females had similar performance on P-UCAPI (p-value=.16) and its subscale including listening and concentrating (p-value=.24), understanding speech (p-value=.60), following spoken instruction (p-value=.77), attention (p-value=.96), education assistance (p-value=.71), and other (p-value=.72). The findings of the item analysis revealed that the value of Cronbach’s alpha coefficient was not obtained higher than .83 after deleting each item. The value of ICC for test–retest reliability of P-UCAPI was .62 ranging from .38 to .85. For the internal consistency, the value of the alpha coefficient value was (α=.82). Conclusion P-UCAPI as a translated instrument with satisfactory values for reliability is appropriate to measure the central processing skills of normal adults in Iran.
... The SIN perception skill related to the central auditory system [91]. Cognitive process is very essential for speech perception especially when listening situation exposed to noise or any other competing message [92][93] because noise or any unwanted sound can impair your memorization skills and also WM performance. There is a great link between attention and executive function component of WM and CAPD, so that individuals with CAPD often diagnosed with impairment of attention and executive functioning of WM Figure 2. ...
Article
Full-text available
Older adults demonstrate a decline in working memory which in turn leads to a reduction of cognitive skills. Therefore, perform optimal approach of working memory remediation is important to well-being for older adults. This paper aims to review the effects of music on working memory among older adults as well as the role of working memory in the central auditory system. Articles included in this review were identified through a search of the databases PubMed, Scopus, and Google Scholar using the search terms music, working memory, aging and central auditory processing disorder. The literature search was restricted to the years 1981 to 2020 and articles published in the English language. Central auditory processing skills such as speech-in-noise perception impaired mostly among older adults. Early diagnose of central auditory processing disorder and perform the music therapy is very important in older adults.
... As for Vision 2, it seems that the textbook is rather successful in fulfilling this goal. This finding also supports the fact that the cognitive aspects perform a key function in semantic comprehension (James, Krishnan, & Aydelott, 2014) and that listening comprehension relys heavily on listeners' cognitive skill and multiform language; and that there is a necessaity to activate students' background knowledge prior to listening tasks. ...
Article
Full-text available
The aim of this study was to investigate the cognitive load (henceforth, CL) of listening activities of a cognitive-based listening instruction of a recently changed EFL curriculum. 126 K-11 students (male=62, female=64) participated in the study. The quantitative and qualtivative data were collected and analyzed in two phases. In phase 1, the participants were asked to judge the CL of listening activities of their textbook based on the CL measure immediately after completeling the tasks. The scale has 10 items that measure three components of CL including Intrinsic Load (IL), Extraneous Load (EL), and Germane Load (GL). The data were analyzed by Multivariate Analysis of Variance (MANOVA). The result primarily revealed that the general cognitive load of listening activities was rather high and when three kinds of CLs were compared, the GL was found to be higher than IL and EL. Comparing the CL of male and female students revealed that there is a signficant difference between the two groups regarding general CL and both IL and EL; and as the GL of both groups was high, no signficant difference was observed between their GL. In pahse 2 of the study, 14 students participated in a structured interview to express their opinions about the difficulty of listening comprehension. The rate of speech and unintelligibility of the speakers’ pronunciation, insufficient technological infrastructures, lack of interest in and negative attitudes towards listening, and limited multidmodal input were among the factors that students felt to contribute to the difficulty of listening comprehension.
... ,Calhoun et al. (2008),James et al. (2014), McKeown et al. (2003, andXu et al. (2013). Furthermore, regressions of the reading versus letter control GLM contrast with participant age exhibited no voxels that survived multiple comparison corrections (FWE p < .05). ...
Article
Objectives: Despite changes to brain integrity with aging, some functions like basic language processes remain remarkably preserved. One theory for the maintenance of function in light of age-related brain atrophy is the engagement of compensatory brain networks. This study examined age-related changes in the neural networks recruited for simple language comprehension. Methods: Sixty-five adults (native English-speaking, right-handed, and cognitively normal) aged 17-85 years underwent a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) reading paradigm and structural scanning. The fMRI data were analyzed using independent component analysis to derive brain networks associated with reading comprehension. Results: Two typical frontotemporal language networks were identified, and these networks remained relatively stable across the wide age range. In contrast, three attention-related networks showed increased activation with increasing age. Furthermore, the increased recruitment of a dorsal attention network was negatively correlated to gray matter thickness in temporal regions, whereas an anterior frontoparietal network was positively correlated to gray matter thickness in insular regions. Conclusions: We found evidence that older adults can exert increased effort and recruit additional attentional resources to maintain their reading abilities in light of increased cortical atrophy.
... Further, the interaction effect between L1 and L2 AoA are more likely to be exerted on those L2 skills like English vocabulary, phonology and listening comprehension which have significant correlations with Chinese corresponding measures (Table 3). Previous studies also provide evidence of bilingual interaction in terms of correlation and transfer across languages (e.g., James et al. 2014;Titone et al. 2011). Numerous large-scale studies confirmed the strong relationship between L1 and L2 language related skills (Barac et al. 2014;Geva and Ryan 1993;Schoonen et al. 2011). ...
Article
Full-text available
The present study examined the relationship between age of acquisition (AoA) and bilingual development for native Chinese children who learned English as a foreign language. A composite test measuring different aspects of language and cognitive skills in Chinese and English was administered on 85 Chinese native primary schoolers, who received bilingual instruction at different points of development (for Chinese, 0 ≤ AoA ≤ 7 years; for English, 2 ≤ AoA ≤ 10 years). Results found AoA constraints on the outcomes of L1 Chinese acquisition are significantly different from those for L2 English. Not all domains of bilingual skills follow the pattern of “the earlier, the better” in language development. Additionally, L1 AoA made unique contributions to L2 English learning. These findings contribute to our understanding on the nature of the AoA effect on bilingual learning.
... It is likely that WM was associated to sentencespecific processing demands. First, research with neurotypical samples reveals positive correlations between sentence processing and WM skills (James, Krishnan, & Aydelott, 2014;P erez, Paolieri, Macizo, & Bajo, 2014). Second, the authors recognized that their patients made more verb production errors in subordinate clauses, which were longer than main clauses and thus involved greater WM demands. ...
Article
Semantic integration and working memory both decline with age. However, it remains unclear whether the semantic integration decline is independent of working memory decline or whether it can be solely explained by the latter factor. In this event-related potentials experiment, 43 younger adults and 43 cognitively healthy older adults read semantically congruent and incongruent sentences. After controlling for working memory, behavioral accuracy was significantly lower in the older adults than in the younger adults. In addition, the semantic integration related N400 effect (incongruent vs. congruent) for correct trials was apparent in the whole brain in the younger adults but restricted to the posterior region in the older adults. The results clarify the relationship between working memory and semantic integration, and clearly demonstrate that semantic integration decline is independent of working memory decline during aging.
Chapter
Full-text available
This chapter shows how immediate memory represents a distinct system or set of processes from long memory. Working memory (WM) was proposed as a dynamic system that enabled active maintenance of task-relevant information in support of the simultaneous execution of complex cognitive tasks. Working memory span tasks measure executive attention processes that are believed to be domain general and contribute to WM span performance irrespective of the skills or the stimuli involved. WM span tasks reflect primarily general executive processes and domain-specific rehearsal and storage processes. Thus, executive processes help maintain or recover access to the target items in the absence of focal attention and effective rehearsal procedures. WM capacity variation, which is driven largely by individual differences in executive attention processes, represents a web of inference across correlational and experimental studies.
Article
Full-text available
Adult aging is accompanied by declines in many areas of cognitive functioning, including reduced memory for new information. Potential sources of these declines are well established and include slowed processing, diminished working-memory capacity, and a reduced ability to inhibit interference. In addition, older adults often experience sensory decline, including decreased hearing acuity for high-frequency sounds and deficits in frequency and temporal resolution. These changes add to the challenge faced by older adults in comprehension and memory for everyday rapid speech. Use of contextual information and added perceptual and cognitive effort can partially offset the deleterious effects of these sensory declines. This may, however, come at a cost to resources that might otherwise be available for “downstream” operations such as encoding the speech content in memory. We argue that future research should focus not only on sensory and cognitive functioning as separate domains but also on the dynamics of their interaction.
Article
Full-text available
This chapter focuses on a set of attentional or executive control processes, all inhibitory, that operate in the service of an individual's goals to narrow and constrain the contents of consciousness to be goal relevant. An uncluttered or narrowly focused "working memory," rather than a large one, is the ideal processing system. The narrow focus maximizes the speed and accuracy of on-line processing because it reduces the likelihood of switching attention to goal-irrelevant representations. The work is similar to that of other investigations in its focus on executive processes as a critical source of working memory variation as well as variation in many cognitive domains. The emphasis on inhibitory processes may be the characteristic that most differentiates their work from others.
Article
Full-text available
Publisher Summary This chapter discusses the theoretical and empirical literature that addresses aging and discourse comprehension. A series of five studies guided by a particular working memory viewpoint regarding the formation of inferences during discourse processing is described in the chapter. Compensatory strategies may be used with different degrees of likelihood across the life span largely as a function of efficiency with which inhibitory mechanisms function because these largely determine the facility with which memory can be searched. The consequences for discourse comprehension in particular may be profound because the establishment of a coherent representation of a message hinges on the timely retrieval of information necessary to establish coreference among certain critical ideas. Discourse comprehension is an ideal domain for assessing limited capacity frameworks because most models of discourse processing assume that multiple components, demanding substantially different levels of cognitive resources, are involved. For example, access to a lexical representation from either a visual array or an auditory message is virtually capacity free.
Article
Full-text available
This study examined the effects of competing speech on auditory semantic comprehension using a dichotic sentence-word priming paradigm. Lexical decision performance for target words presented in spoken sentences was compared in strongly and weakly biasing semantic contexts. Targets were either congruent or incongruent with the sentential bias. Sentences were presented to one auditory channel (right or left), either in isolation or with competing speech produced by a single talker of the same gender presented simultaneously. The competing speech signal was either presented in the same auditory channel as the sentence context, or in a different auditory channel, and was either meaningful (played forward) or unintelligible (time-reversed). Biasing contexts presented in isolation facilitated responses to congruent targets and inhibited responses to incongruent targets, relative to a neutral baseline. Facilitation priming was reduced or eliminated by competing speech presented in the same auditory channel, supporting previous findings that semantic activation is highly sensitive to the intelligibility of the context signal. Competing speech presented in a different auditory channel affected facilitation priming differentially depending upon ear of presentation, suggesting hemispheric differences in the processing of the attended and competing signals. Results were consistent with previous claims of a right ear advantage for meaningful speech, as well as with visual word recognition findings implicating the left hemisphere in the generation of semantic predictions and the right hemisphere in the integration of newly encountered words into the sentence-level meaning. Unlike facilitation priming, inhibition was relatively robust to the energetic and informational masking effects of competing speech, and was not influenced by the strength of the contextual bias or the meaningfulness of the competing signal, supporting a two-process model of sentence priming in which inhibition reflects later-stage, expectancy-driven strategic processes that may benefit from perceptual reanalysis after initial semantic activation.
Article
Full-text available
Paired associate recall was tested as a function of serial position for younger and older adults for five word pairs presented aurally in quiet and in noise. In Experiment 1, the addition of noise adversely affected recall in young adults, but only in the early serial positions. Experiments 2 and 3 suggested that the recall of older adults listening to the words in quiet was nearly equivalent to that of younger adults listening in noise. In Experiment 4, we determined the signal-to-noise ratio (S/N) such that, on average, younger and older adults were able to correctly hear the same percentage of words when words were presented one at a time in noise. In Experiment 5, younger adults were tested under this S/N. Compared with older adults from Experiment 3, younger adults in this experiment recalled more words at all serial positions. The results are interpreted as showing that encoding in secondary memory is impaired by aging and noise either as a function of degraded sensory representations, or as a function of reduced processing resources. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Full-text available
Individual differences in working memory capacity are related to a variety of behaviors both within and outside of the lab. Recently developed automated complex span tasks have contributed to increasing our knowledge concerning working memory capacity by making valid and reliable assessments freely available for use by researchers. Combining the samples from three testing locations yielded data from over 6,000 young adult participants who performed at least one of three such tasks (Operation, Symmetry, and Reading Span). Normative data are presented here for researchers interested in applying cutoffs for their own applications, and information on the validity and reliability of the tasks is also reported. In addition, the data were analyzed as a function of sex and college status. While automated complex span tasks are just one way to measure working memory capacity, the use of a standardized procedure for administration and scoring greatly facilitates comparison across studies.
Article
Full-text available
Objective: The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of aging on the strategic control of attention and the extent to which this relationship is mediated by working memory capacity (WMC). This study also sought to investigate boundary conditions wherein age differences in selectivity may occur. Method: Across 2 studies, the value-directed remembering task used by Castel and colleagues (Castel, A. D., Balota, D. A., & McCabe, D. P. (2009). Memory efficiency and the strategic control of attention at encoding: Impairments of value-directed remembering in Alzheimer's Disease. Neuropsychology, 23, 297-306) was modified to include value-directed forgetting. Study 2 incorporated valence as an additional task demand, and age differences were predicted in both studies due to increased demands of controlled processing. Automated operation span and Stroop span were included as working memory measures, and working memory was predicted to mediate performance. Results: Results confirmed these predictions, as older adults were less efficient in maximizing selectivity scores when high demands were placed on selectivity processes, and working memory was found to mediate performance on this task. Discussion: When list length was increased from previous studies and participants were required to actively forget negative-value words, older adults were not able to selectively encode high-value information to the same degree as younger adults. Furthermore, WMC appears to support the ability to selectively encode information.
Article
Full-text available
Working memory (WM) is a cognitive system that strongly relates to a person's ability to reason with novel information and direct attention to goal-relevant information. Due to the central role that WM plays in general cognition, it has become the focus of a rapidly growing training literature that seeks to affect broad cognitive change through prolonged training on WM tasks. Recent work has suggested that the effects of WM training extend to general fluid intelligence, attentional control, and reductions in symptoms of ADHD. We present a theoretically motivated perspective of WM and subsequently review the WM training literature in light of several concerns. These include (a) the tendency for researchers to define change to abilities using single tasks, (b) inconsistent use of valid WM tasks, (c) no-contact control groups, and (d) subjective measurement of change. The literature review highlights several findings that warrant further research but ultimately concludes that there is a need to directly demonstrate that WM capacity increases in response to training. Specifically, we argue that transfer of training to WM must be demonstrated using a wider variety of tasks, thus eliminating the possibility that results can be explained by task specific learning. Additionally, we express concern that many of the most promising results (e.g., increased intelligence) cannot be readily attributed to changes in WM capacity. Thus, a critical goal for future research is to uncover the mechanisms that lead to transfer of training.
Article
Full-text available
It is widely accepted that hearing loss increases markedly with age, beginning in the fourth decade ISO 7029 (2000). Age-related hearing loss is typified by high-frequency threshold elevation and associated reductions in speech perception because speech sounds, especially consonants, become inaudible. Nevertheless, older adults often report additional and progressive difficulties in the perception and comprehension of speech, often highlighted in adverse listening conditions that exceed those reported by younger adults with a similar degree of high-frequency hearing loss (Dubno, Dirks, & Morgan) leading to communication difficulties and social isolation (Weinstein & Ventry). Some of the age-related decline in speech perception can be accounted for by peripheral sensory problems but cognitive aging can also be a contributing factor. In this article, we review findings from the psycholinguistic literature predominantly over the last four years and present a pilot study illustrating how normal age-related changes in cognition and the linguistic context can influence speech-processing difficulties in older adults. For significant progress in understanding and improving the auditory performance of aging listeners to be made, we discuss how future research will have to be much more specific not only about which interactions between auditory and cognitive abilities are critical but also how they are modulated in the brain.
Article
Full-text available
Promoting successful cognitive aging is a topic of major importance to individuals and the field of public health. This review presents a coherent framework not only for evaluating factors, protective activities, and enhancing agents that have already been proposed, but also ones that will be put forward in the future. The promotion of successful cognitive aging involves the dual goals of preventing loss of information processing capacity and cognitive reserve, and enhancing brain capacity and cognitive reserve. Four major lines of evidence are available for evaluating whether a proposed factor promotes successful cognitive aging: 1) epidemiologic/cohort studies; 2) animal/basic science studies; 3) human "proof-of-concept" studies; and 4) human intervention studies. Each line of evidence has advantages and limitations that will be discussed. Through illustrative examples, we trace the ways in which each method informs us about the potential value of several proposed factors. Currently, lines of converging evidence allow the strongest case to be made for physical and cognitively stimulating activities. Although epidemiological data seem to favor the use of statins to lower the risk of dementia, more definitive recommendations await further randomized controlled studies. There is presently no clear evidence that antioxidants or Ginkgo biloba promote successful cognitive aging. The impact of resveratrol, fish oil, and a long list of other proposed agents needs to be determined. Clinicians remain well-positioned to identify and aggressively treat vascular risk factors, diabetes, sleep disorders, and other conditions that may reduce brain capacity, and to encourage activities that can build cognitive reserve.
Article
Full-text available
A common complaint among listeners with hearing loss (HL) is that they have difficulty communicating in common social settings. This article reviews how normal-hearing listeners cope in such settings, especially how they focus attention on a source of interest. Results of experiments with normal-hearing listeners suggest that the ability to selectively attend depends on the ability to analyze the acoustic scene and to form perceptual auditory objects properly. Unfortunately, sound features important for auditory object formation may not be robustly encoded in the auditory periphery of HL listeners. In turn, impaired auditory object formation may interfere with the ability to filter out competing sound sources. Peripheral degradations are also likely to reduce the salience of higher-order auditory cues such as location, pitch, and timbre, which enable normal-hearing listeners to select a desired sound source out of a sound mixture. Degraded peripheral processing is also likely to increase the time required to form auditory objects and focus selective attention so that listeners with HL lose the ability to switch attention rapidly (a skill that is particularly important when trying to participate in a lively conversation). Finally, peripheral deficits may interfere with strategies that normal-hearing listeners employ in complex acoustic settings, including the use of memory to fill in bits of the conversation that are missed. Thus, peripheral hearing deficits are likely to cause a number of interrelated problems that challenge the ability of HL listeners to communicate in social settings requiring selective attention.
Article
This paper empirically evaluates the reporting of adjusted effect sizes (e.g., adjusted R 2 , omega 2) in published multiple regression studies by (a) documenting the frequency of adjusted effect reporting and interpretation, (b) identifying the types of corrected effects reported, and (c) estimating the degree of "shrinkage" present across regression analyses by using the information found in published journal articles to calculate corrected effects based on various formulae. Adjusted effects were infrequently reported in the literature, and interpretation of adjusted effects that were reported was rare. esearchers are becoming increasingly aware that interpretation of effect sizes is critical in evaluating empirical results (Henson & Smith, stated: It is hard to imagine a situation in which a dichotomous accept-reject decision is better than reporting an actual p-value or, better still, a confidence interval. . . Always provide some effect-size estimate when reporting a p-value. (p. 599, italics added). The Task Force went on to state, "Always present effect sizes for primary outcomes . . .It helps to add brief comments that place these effect sizes in a practical and theoretical context" (Wilkinson & APA Task Force on Statistical Inference, 1999, p. 599). This directive was a substantial step beyond the fourth edition of the APA's Publication Manual, which only recommended reporting of effect sizes in research (APA, 1994). Several empirical studies demonstrated, however, that this recommendation had little impact on the number of effect sizes reported in articles and it affected the interpretation of effect sizes even less (cf. Henson & Smith, 2000; Vacha-Haase, Nilsson, Reetz, Lance, & Thompson, 2000). The fifth edition of the APA manual (APA, 2001) incorporated the Task Force's directive, stating "For the reader to fully understand the importance of your findings, it is almost always necessary to include some index of effect size or strength of relationship in your Results section" (p. 25). The current APA manual also called the "failure to report effect sizes" a "defect in the design and reporting of research" (p. 5). At least 23 journals have followed suit, requiring the inclusion of effect sizes with statistical results (Onwuegbuzie, Levin, & Leech, 2003). The use of effect sizes has been widely discussed in the literature vis-à-vis null hypothesis significance tests (NHST). A discussion of issues surrounding the use of NHSTs is beyond the scope of this paper. Harlow, Mulaik, and Steiger (1997) present a balanced discussion of the debate for interested readers. Huberty and Pike (1999) and Huberty (2002) document the historical development of statistical testing and effect sizes, respectively. Indeed, Pedhazur and Schmelkin (1991) noted that, "Probably few methodological issues have generated as much controversy among sociobehavioral scientists as the use of [statistical significance] tests" (p. 198). Elsewhere, Pedhazur (1997) indicated that the "controversy is due, in part, to various misconceptions of the role and meaning of such [statistical significance] tests in the context of scientific inquiry" (p. 26). These "misconceptions" have been attacked for considerable time (see e.g., Berkson, 1942; Tyler, 1931), and yet they persist in modern research practice (Cohen, 1994; Finch, Cumming, & Thomason, 2001). Nevertheless, current methodological practice is increasingly emphasizing the need for effect size indices and more accurate interpretation of NHSTs (Kline, 2004). Some researchers recommend using effect sizes and NHSTs together (Fan, 2001; Huberty, 1987). Moreover, some critics of NHSTs have argued that effect sizes should be reported whether or not the results are statistically significant (Rosnow & Rosenthal, 1989; Thompson, 1999). As Roberts and Henson (2002) stated, ". . .one remaining point of debate concerns whether effect sizes should be reported (a) for all null hypothesis tests, even non-statistically significant ones, or (b) only after a finding is first determined to be statistically significant" (pp. 242-243).
Article
12 undergraduates were required to classify letter strings as words or nonwords under the following 3 conditions: (a) when the target stimulus alone was presented, (b) when the target was preceded by an incomplete sentence, and (c) when the target was preceded by a string of 4 spelled-out digits. Word targets were either high- or low-frequency items and either semantically congruous or incongruous with respect to the incomplete sentence. Nonword targets were either pronounceable or nonpronounceable. The presentation of sentence contexts facilitated the classification of congruous words and both pronounceable and nonpronounceable nonwords but interfered with classification of incongruous words. The digit contexts interfered with the classification of incongruous words. The digit contexts interfered equally with the processing of all targets. Results are discussed within the framework of J. Morton's (see PA, vol 43:11276) logogen model of word processing. (24 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
This study explored the role of attentional and perceptual factors in lexical access by examining the effects of acoustic distortion on semantic priming of spoken words by a sentence context. The acoustic manipulations included low-pass filtering, which was intended to interfere with the sensory encoding of the acoustic signal by reducing intelligibility, and time compression, which was intended to disrupt central language processing by reducing processing time. These distortions were applied to the sentence context to explore how the contribution of contextual information to lexical access is affected by acoustic degradation. Low-pass filtering significantly reduced semantic facilitation. In contrast, temporal compression significantly reduced semantic inhibition without affecting facilitation. These qualitative differences between two forms of acoustic distortion are discussed in terms of the activation, selection, and integration of lexical-semantic information in models of lexical access. Filtering may have its primary effect on a relatively early, automatic process (reflected in facilitation effects), while compression has its primary effect on a later, more demanding process (reflected in inhibition effects). Practical and theoretical implications for higher-level language processing in hearing-impaired and elderly populations are discussed.
Article
Performance on measures of working memory (WM) capacity predicts performance on a wide range of real-world cognitive tasks. I review the idea that WM capacity (a) is separable from short-term memory, (b) is an important component of general fluid intelligence, and (c) represents a domain-free limitation in ability to control attention. Studies show that individual differences in WM capacity are reflected in performance on antisaccade, Stroop, and dichotic-listening tasks. WM capacity, or executive attention, is most important under conditions in which interference leads to retrieval of response tendencies that conflict with the current task.
Article
This paper describes a computerised database of psycholinguistic information. Semantic, syntactic, phonological and orthographic information about some or all of the 98,538 words in the database is accessible, by using a specially-written and very simple programming language. Word-association data are also included in the database. Some examples are given of the use of the database for selection of stimuli to be used in psycholinguistic experimentation or linguistic research. © 1981, The Experimental Psychology Society. All rights reserved.
Article
Semantic priming has been a focus of research in the cognitive sciences for more than thirty years and is commonly used as a tool for investigating other aspects of perception and cognition, such as word recognition, language comprehension, and knowledge representations. Semantic Priming: Perspectives from Memory and Word Recognition examines empirical and theoretical advancements in the understanding of semantic priming, providing a succinct, in-depth review of this important phenomenon, framed in terms of models of memory and models of word recognition. The first section examines models of semantic priming, including spreading activation models, the verification model, compound-cue models, distributed network models, and multistage activation models (e.g. interactive-activation model). The second section examines issues and findings that have played an especially important role in testing models of priming and includes chapters on the following topics: methodological issues (e.g. counterbalancing of materials, choice of priming baselines); automatic vs. strategic priming; associative vs. "pure" semantic priming; mediated priming; long-term semantic priming; backward priming; unconscious priming; the prime-task effect; list context effects; effects of word frequency, stimulus quality, and stimulus repetition; and the cognitive neuroscience of semantic priming. The book closes with a summary and a discussion of promising new research directions. The volume will be of interest to a wide range of researchers and students in the cognitive sciences and neurosciences.
Article
Four experiments were performed to examine the influence of sentence constraint and cue validity on the processing of expected and unexpected congruous sentence completions. Experiment 1 showed that high constraint sentences aided lexical decisions only for expected completions whereas low constraint contexts demonstrated a broader, although weaker context effect. Increasing the proportion of expected completions in Experiment 2 caused inhibition of lexical decisions for unexpected words appearing in high constraint sentences. A similar manipulation for low constraint sentences in Experiment 3 did not show such an effect for unexpected completions. The addition of an incongruous completion condition in Experiment 4 had a negligible effect on the relative proportions of facilitation found in every condition. These findings are consistent with the view that more featural restrictions are generated as sentence constraint and cue validity increase.
Article
A reveiw of aging and speech understanding reveals that the elderly population experience severe deficits under certain conditions. These deficits appear to be large enough to cause economic and social problems for the middle-aged and elderly adult in his everyday life. Furthermore, in some occupations, for example, aircraft pilots, air traffic controllers, and in noisy occupations in heavy industry, there are safety problems with regard to ability to understand speech. Standard tests of physical health should include tests of ability to hear and understand speech as well as the routine pure-tone audiogram. The speech tests should involve realistic conditions of noise and message redundancy.
Article
Three experiments examined the generality of context effects displayed for congruous completions appearing in high- and low-constraint sentences. Exp 1 found an effect of context for a broader range of completions for low-constraint than high-constraint sentences. Lexical decisions for unexpected congruous words that were related in meaning to the most expected completion for the sentence showed a benefit from context in low-constraint sentences only. Unexpected words that were unrelated to the most expected completion never benefited from appearing in either high- or low-constraint sentence contexts. Exp 2 varied the semantic relatedness of the unexpected words within Ss and found that unrelated words still did not benefit from sentence context. Exp 3 included only low-constraint sentences to encourage Ss to develop broader expectations for upcoming words. Unrelated words continued not to display any benefit from context. It is concluded that the scope of facilitation for upcoming words demonstrated in a lexical decision task is wider for low-constraint than high-constraint sentences, but never includes unrelated, although acceptable, completions for the sentence. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Patients with epileptogenic foci in various parts of the brain were given a test of immediate recall in which different digits were simultaneously presented to the 2 ears. One group of 107 Ss had speech represented in the left hemisphere, the other 13 Ss in the right. For the former the right ear was more efficient for verbal recall; for the latter the left was more efficient. The effect was independent of handedness and the locus of epileptic discharge. From Psyc Abstracts 36:04:4JG66K. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Article
Outlines the basic processes involved in language comprehension, highlighting the ways in which limited resources constrain language-processing capability in young and elderly adults. The authors discuss the special resource limitations in the elderly adult and present the implications of these limitations for language processing in the aging adult. They then describe factors that ameliorate what might otherwise be far more serious consequences of these declines. They end with a discussion of language use in a broader societal setting. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Chapter
Older individuals often find it difficult to communicate, especially in group situations, because they are unable to keep up with the flow of conversation or are too slow in comprehending what they are hearing. These communication difficulties are often exacerbated by negative stereotypes held by their communication partners who often perceive older adults as less competent than they actually are (Ryan et al. 1986). Sometimes, older adults’ communication problems motivate them, often at the prompting of their family and friends, to seek help from hearing specialists (O’Mahoney et al. 1996). Quite often, however, older adults and/or their family members wonder if these comprehension difficulties are a sign of cognitive decline. Such uncertainty on the part of both older adults and their family members with respect to the source of communication difficulties is understandable given that age-related changes in the comprehension of spoken language could be due to age-related changes in hearing, to age-related declines in cognitive functioning, or to interactions between these two levels of processing. To participate effectively in a multitalker conversation, listeners need to do more than simply recognize and repeat speech. They have to keep track of who said what, extract the meaning of each utterance, store it in memory for future use, integrate the incoming information with what each conversational participant has said in the past, and draw on the listener’s own knowledge of the topic under consideration to extract general themes and formulate responses. In other words, effective communication requires not only an intact auditory system but also an intact cognitive system.
Article
A frequency count of more than 190,000 words of spoken English is presented. The count is based on a published corpus of spontaneous conversation (Svartvik & Quirk, 1980). A brief description of the count is presented, and the correlations between spoken word frequency and a range of other word variables are reported. It is expected that the frequency count will be useful in the interpretation of certain psychological data.
Chapter
This chapter reviews various factors that affect the speech-understanding abilities of older adults. Before proceeding to the identification of several such factors, however, it is important to clearly define what is meant by “speech understanding.” This term is used to refer to either the open-set recognition or the closed-set identification of nonsense syllables, words, or sentences by human listeners. Many years ago, Miller et al. (1951) demonstrated that the distinction between open-set recognition and closed-set identification blurs as the set size for closed-set identification increases. When words were used as the speech material, Miller et al. (1951) demonstrated that the closed-set speech-identification performance of young normal-hearing listeners progressively approached that of open-set speech recognition as the set size doubled in successive steps from 2 to 256 words. Clopper et al. (2006) have also demonstrated that lexical factors (e.g., word frequency and acoustic-phonetic similarity) impacting word identification and word recognition are very similar when the set size is reasonably large for the closed-set identification task and the alternatives in the response are reasonably confusable with the stimulus item. Thus the processes of closed-set speech identification and open-set speech recognition are considered to be very similar and both are referred to here as measures of “speech understanding.”
Article
It has been shown (Fischler & Bloom, 1979) that sentence contexts facilitate a lexical decision task for words that are highly likely sentence completions and inhibit the decision for words that are semantically anomalous sentence completions. In the present experiment, the sentence contexts were presented 1 word at a time, at rates from 4 to 28 words/sec. The facilitation for words that were likely sentence completions was marginal at the slower rates and absent at higher rates. In contrast, the inhibitory effects of semantic anomaly were apparent at all presentation rates. Several analyses suggested that the sentence contexts were becoming ineffective at the very highest presentation rates, but the high rates at which the sentence contexts still affected word recognition were taken as evidence that semantic information accrues at an early stage of sentence processing. Implications for Posner and Snyder’s (1975) theory of attention and for models of reading were discussed.
Article
Aging is associated with cognitive changing. Central auditory processing dysfunction may explain some understanding difficulties in elderly. It may be evaluated with the dichotic listening (DL) test, a widely-used experimental paradigm for studying inter-hemispheric interactions and attentional processes. This study examines central auditory language processing with a dichotic listening task in right-handed old subjects according to their age. Cross sectional-study. memory clinic and geriatric unit. Adult group (Ad) consisted in 26 subjects (21 women and 5 men) aged 50-69 years and an old adults group (Old-Ad) consisted in 20 subjects (19 women and 1 man) aged 70 to 89 years. DL consisted in a free-recall word task and a digit forced-attention task (forced-right: FR and forced-left: FL) in order to study central auditory language processing. In addition, we used neuropsychological tests to study executive functions and cognitive control, sustained by the prefrontal cortex. In the free recall condition, we confirmed the classic right ear advantage (REA) in both groups, particularly in older subjects. In the forced condition, we observed an ear advantage with a change in ear asymmetry as a consequence of instruction: REA in FR and a left-ear advantage (LEA) in FL. We compared contaminations by the contra-lateral inattentive ear: reports of the left ear (LE) in the FR condition and reports of the right ear (RE) in the FL condition. Contaminations by the RE in the FL condition were more pronounced in Old-Ad suggesting difficulties in competition between the natural tendency for the RE and the instruction. In the Old-Ad group, the correlation between the RE score in FL and TMT B-A/A suggests an impairment in mental flexibility. DL may be helpful to study central auditory dysfunction in aging. Our results suggest difficulties in attentional control and executive functions. Central auditory dysfunction should be evaluated in elderly because it potentially contributes to difficulty of hearing in noisy environment with consequences in the rehabilitation of presbyacousic subjects. More studies are needed to investigate the predictive value of DL as a marker of cognitive decline, particularly executive functions.
Article
"Semantic priming" has two meanings, one an internal activation and the other a performance difference between responses to primed and unprimed stimuli. Individual and group differences in the performance difference score are heavily influenced by overall speed and/or accuracy and so are a flawed reflection of internal activation. These relationships obscure the meaning of many published findings of greater than normal priming difference scores in special groups, such as children and the elderly. Meaningful comparison of groups on the activation underlying priming difference scores requires removing the effects of overall performance level. We discuss ways of doing so. We make this argument in the context of semantic priming research but it applies equally to other paradigms that use difference scores for the comparison of groups of differing performance levels.
Article
An incomplete sentence context facilitated a subsequent lexical decision only when the test word was a highly likely completion of the sentence. Context had no effect on congruent but unlikely words, while it inhibited responses to anomalous words. The inhibition was eliminated in a control condition in which none of the test words meaningfully completed the context. In contrast, subjects could not eliminate the inhibition or the facilitation when they were instructed to ignore the implication of each context. It was concluded that contextual information in reading is typically used to focus attention on a class of responses which conserve the meaningfulness of the sentence, but that the deployment of attention will vary with the predictability of the material.
Article
Working memory (WM) capacity predicts performance in a wide range of cognitive tasks. Although WM capacity has been viewed as a constant trait, recent studies suggest that it can be improved by adaptive and extended training. This training is associated with changes in brain activity in frontal and parietal cortex and basal ganglia, as well as changes in dopamine receptor density. Transfer of the training effects to non-trained WM tasks is consistent with the notion of training-induced plasticity in a common neural network for WM. The observed training effects suggest that WM training could be used as a remediating intervention for individuals for whom low WM capacity is a limiting factor for academic performance or in everyday life.
Article
Trajectories of cognitive decline among elderly individuals are heterogeneous, and markers that have high reliability for predicting cognitive trajectories across a broad spectrum of the elderly population have yet to be identified. This study examined the utility of a variety of MRI-based brain measures, obtained at baseline, as predictors of subsequent declines in domain-specific measures of cognitive function in a cohort of 307 community-dwelling elderly individuals with varying degrees of cognitive impairment who were diverse across several relevant demographic variables and were evaluated yearly. Psychometrically matched measures of cognition were used to assess episodic memory, semantic memory, and executive function. Relationships between baseline MRI measures, including the volumes of the brain, hippocampus, and white matter hyperintensities (WMH), and cognitive trajectories were assessed in mixed effects regression models that modeled MRI effects on cognitive performance at baseline and rate of change as well as interindividual variability in cognitive baseline and rate of change. Greater baseline brain volume predicted slower subsequent rate of decline in episodic memory and smaller WMH volume predicted slower subsequent rate of decline in executive function and semantic memory. Baseline hippocampal volume, while strongly related to baseline cognitive function, was not predictive of subsequent change in any of the cognitive domains. Baseline measures of brain structure and tissue pathology predicted rate of cognitive decline in a diverse and carefully characterized cohort, suggesting that they may provide summary measures of pre-existing neuropathological damage or the capacity of the brain to compensate for the impact of subsequent neuropathology on cognition. Conventional MRI measures may have use for predicting cognitive outcomes in highly heterogeneous elderly populations.
Article
This is a review of bootstrap methods, concentrating on basic ideas and applications rather than theoretical considerations. It begins with an exposition of the bootstrap estimate of standard error for one-sample situations. Several examples, some involving quite complicated statistical procedures, are given. The bootstrap is then extended to other measures of statistical accuracy such as bias and prediction error, and to complicated data structures such as time series, censored data, and regression models. Several more examples are presented illustrating these ideas. The last third of the paper deals mainly with bootstrap confidence intervals.
Article
We discuss the following problem given a random sample X = (X 1, X 2,…, X n) from an unknown probability distribution F, estimate the sampling distribution of some prespecified random variable R(X, F), on the basis of the observed data x. (Standard jackknife theory gives an approximate mean and variance in the case R(X, F) = \(\theta \left( {\hat F} \right) - \theta \left( F \right)\), θ some parameter of interest.) A general method, called the “bootstrap”, is introduced, and shown to work satisfactorily on a variety of estimation problems. The jackknife is shown to be a linear approximation method for the bootstrap. The exposition proceeds by a series of examples: variance of the sample median, error rates in a linear discriminant analysis, ratio estimation, estimating regression parameters, etc.
Article
Cognitive Hearing Science or Auditory Cognitive Science is an emerging field of interdisciplinary research concerning the interactions between hearing and cognition. It follows a trend over the last half century for interdisciplinary fields to develop, beginning with Neuroscience, then Cognitive Science, then Cognitive Neuroscience, and then Cognitive Vision Science. A common theme is that an interdisciplinary approach is necessary to understand complex human behaviors, to develop technologies incorporating knowledge of these behaviors, and to find solutions for individuals with impairments that undermine typical behaviors. Accordingly, researchers in traditional academic disciplines, such as Psychology, Physiology, Linguistics, Philosophy, Anthropology, and Sociology benefit from collaborations with each other, and with researchers in Computer Science and Engineering working on the design of technologies, and with health professionals working with individuals who have impairments. The factors that triggered the emergence of Cognitive Hearing Science include the maturation of the component disciplines of Hearing Science and Cognitive Science, new opportunities to use complex digital signal-processing to design technologies suited to performance in challenging everyday environments, and increasing social imperatives to help people whose communication problems span hearing and cognition. Cognitive Hearing Science is illustrated in research on three general topics: (1) language processing in challenging listening conditions; (2) use of auditory communication technologies or the visual modality to boost performance; (3) changes in performance with development, aging, and rehabilitative training. Future directions for modeling and the translation of research into practice are suggested.
Article
Older adults often have more difficulty listening in challenging environments than their younger adult counterparts. On the one hand, auditory aging can exacerbate and/or masquerade as cognitive difficulties when auditory processing is stressed in challenging listening situations. On the other hand, an older listener can overcome some auditory processing difficulties by deploying compensatory cognitive processing, especially when there is supportive context. Supportive context may be provided by redundant cues in the external signal(s) and/or by internally stored knowledge about structures that are functionally significant in communication. It seems that listeners may achieve correct word identification in various ways depending on the challenges and supports available in complex auditory scenes. We will review evidence suggesting that older adults benefit as much or more than younger adults from supportive context at multiple levels where expectations or constraints may be related to redundancies in semantic, syntactic, lexical, phonological, or other sub-phonemic cues in the signal, and/or to expert knowledge of structures at these levels.
Article
Brain atrophy and decline in executive functioning have been reported during late life, but the relationship between the 2 phenomena is not clear. To examine associations between executive tasks and morphometry, MRIs of the prefrontal cortex from 23 healthy elders were manually masked and automatically segmented. Total brain matter of the bilateral orbitofrontal, anterior cingulate, gyrus rectus, precentral gyrus, and middle frontal gyrus were computed as ratios of intracranial volume. A neuropsychological battery of five clinical tests of executive function was administered. Better performance on a response inhibition task was associated with larger volume in anterior cingulate, and performance on a nonverbal inductive reasoning task was associated with larger gyrus rectus volumes. In contrast, larger orbitofrontal volumes were associated with lower verbal and nonverbal generative output. An aggregated error index from 4 executive tests correlated negatively with a regional composite brain index. In conclusion, some executive abilities correlate with volumes of specific prefrontal subregions despite a robust neural interconnectedness between the subregions.
Article
The influence of age on attentional control of bottom-up processing was investigated with a dichotic-listening paradigm. The typical right-ear-advantage (REA) without specific attentional instructions was used as a measure of bottom-up processing (non-forced condition). Top-down attentional control was evaluated by instructing subjects to report only the right or left ear stimulus of the dichotic pair (forced-right, forced-left conditions). Both young and old participants showed a REA in the non-forced condition and an increased REA in the forced-right condition. The old group failed, however, to use attention to modulate the REA to the same degree as the younger participants in the forced-left condition. Only the young group showed a significant left ear advantage (LEA). The results are discussed in relation to cognitive decline in normal aging and in early stages of dementia.
Article
This paper describes a test of everyday speech reception, in which a listener's utilization of the linguistic-situational information of speech is assessed, and is compared with the utilization of acoustic-phonetic information. The test items are sentences which are presented in babble-type noise, and the listener response is the final word in the sentence (the key word) which is always a monosyllabic noun. Two types of sentences are used: high-predictability items for which the key word is somewhat predictable from the context, and low-predictability items for which the final word cannot be predicted from the context. Both types are included in several 50-item forms of the test, which are balanced for intelligibility, key-word familiarity and predictability, phonetic content, and length. Performance of normally hearing listeners for various signal-to-noise ratios shows significantly different functions for low- and high-predictability items. The potential applications of this test, particularly in the assessment of speech reception in the hearing impaired, are discussed.
Article
In a previous study [van Rooij and Plomp, J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 88, 2611-2624 (1990)], it was found that speech-perception performance in a sample of elderly subjects tested in the laboratory may be largely determined by two statistically independent components: (1) a major component representing the progressive middle- to high-frequency hearing loss with age and (2) a minor component mainly representing a general decrement in cognitive performance. In the present study, a selected subset of tests used in the laboratory study was administered to a group of elderly subjects less likely to participate in laboratory experimentation. The results show that approximately all the systematic variance with respect to speech-perception performance, as tested by speech-reception thresholds (SRTs), can be accounted for by the audiogram alone. The implications of the results of the present study and those of earlier ones [van Rooij. Plomp, and Orlebeke, J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 86, 1294-1309 (1989) and van Rooij and Plomp, J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 88, 2611-2624 (1990)] are critically evaluated. It is concluded that age differences with respect to speech perception are most likely due to differences in auditive factors.