Rapid speech processing and divided attention: processing rate versus processing resources as an explanation of age effects.

P. A. Tun, A. Wingfield, E. A. Stine, C. Mecsas

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

The authors conducted a dual-task study to examine age differences in speech processing under varying loads. Younger and older adults listened to and immediately recalled spoken passages presented at various speech rates (140-280 words per min). This task was performed alone as well as in a divided-attention condition in which subjects concurrently performed a picture recognition task. Consistent with the slowing hypothesis, older adults' immediate memory performance was differentially depressed when speech rates were very fast. The Age x Speech Rate interaction, however, was not exacerbated in the divided-attention condition. This suggests that aging may reduce the rate at which the processing operations underlying memory for speech are completed, but this is conceptually distinct from an age-related reduction in attentional capacity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)546-550
Number of pages5
JournalPsychology and aging
Volume7
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 1992

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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