Young and elderly adults heard recorded words that increased in word-onset duration ("gated" words). Without context, both age groups could recognize spoken words after hearing only 50% to 60% of word onset information. When these words were embedded in sentence contexts, subjects required only 20% to 30% of word onset for recognition. An analysis of pre-recognition responses was used to examine use of linguistic context by both age groups to produce correct word recognition in the absence of a complete, or completely processed, acoustic input.
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