Relationship between Alternating Attention and Context Use during Sentence Processing in Older and Younger Adults

정상노인과 젊은 성인의 문맥을 이용한 문장처리와 교대주의력의 관계

  • 박영미 (동명대학교 언어치료학과)
  • Received : 2018.10.15
  • Accepted : 2018.11.16
  • Published : 2018.11.28


Cognitive decline in aging is known to yield detrimental effects in syntactic processing and working memory capacity is the most crucial cognitive function in understanding older adults' sentence processing skills. This study examined how young and older adults utilize contextual information while resolving NP-attached Ps vis word-by-word self-paced reading paradigm. In addition, the study asked which cognitive functions play roles on the use of a NP-supporting context during processing of NP-attached PP. When NP-attached PP was presented in a supporting context, both age groups performed faster than in the null context condition. Among different cognitive functions, alternating attention skills were correlated with the ability utilizing context during syntactic ambiguity resolution and working memory capacity was not found to be crucial for this study. In conclusion, this study suggests that aging does not always affect older adults' syntactic processing negatively and relevant cognitive function may vary depending on the type of syntactic structure.


Language in Aging;Reading;Syntactic Ambiguity;Context;Cognition

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Fig. 1. RRT of target word

Table 1. Examples of sentences with VP-attached and NP-attached PPs

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Table 2. Examples of preambles supporting either NP- or VP-supporting context

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Table 3. Examples of target items

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Table 4. Cognitive functions and corresponding neuropsychological tests

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Table 5. Comprehension accuracy

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Table 6. A 2 x 2 univariate GLM analysis

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Table 7. Correlation among ability utilizing supporting context, cognitive functions and age

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