Abstract

Younger and older adults read a series of expository and narrative passages twice in order to answer comprehension questions. Reading time was used to index attentional allocation to word, textbase, and situation model processing and to assess shifts in the allocation policy from the first to the second reading. Older readers' comprehension was at least as good as that of younger readers. Analysis of reading times suggested that for both genres, older adults allocated more attention to situation model features than younger adults did on the first reading, whereas young and old allocated attention similarly to this level of representation on the second reading, suggesting that mature readers may give greater priority to situation model construction when first encountering text. Also, for both genres, older adults showed relatively less facilitation than the young in word-level processing in rereading, suggesting that representation at this level is not as firmly established during reading or decays more quickly for older readers. For narrative texts only, this pattern also obtained for textbase processing. Collectively, these data show that age equivalence in text comprehension at the molar level may be accomplished through different processing routes at the molecular level.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)696-710
Number of pages15
JournalMemory and Cognition
Volume32
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)

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