Age differences in the effects of conceptual integration training on resource allocation in sentence processing

Elizabeth A.L. Stine-Morrow, Soo Rim Noh, Matthew C. Shake

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This research examined age differences in the accommodation of reading strategies as a consequence of explicit instruction in conceptual integration. In Experiment 1, young, middle-aged, and older adults read sentences for delayed recall using a moving-window method. Readers in an experimental group received instruction in making conceptual links during reading while readers in a control group were simply encouraged to allocate effort. Regression analysis to decompose word-by-word reading times in each condition isolated the time allocated to conceptual processing at the point in the text at which new concepts were introduced, as well as at clause and sentence boundaries. While younger adults responded to instructions by differentially allocating effort to sentence wrap-up, older adults allocated effort to intrasentence wrap-up and on new concepts as they were introduced, suggesting that older readers optimized their allocation of effort to linguistic computations for textbase construction within their processing capacity. Experiment 2 verified that conceptual integration training improved immediate recall among older readers as a consequence of engendering allocation to conceptual processing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1430-1455
Number of pages26
JournalQuarterly Journal of Experimental Psychology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2010


  • Ageing
  • Metacognition
  • Reading
  • Resource allocation
  • Text memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)
  • General Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • General Medicine


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