Does working memory change with age? The interactions of concurrent articulation with the effects of word length and acoustic confusion
Bireta, Tamra J.
Fine, Hope C.
VanWormer, Lisa A.
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The effects of acoustic confusion (phonological similarity), word length, and concurrent articulation (articulatory suppression) are cited as support for Working Memory's phonological loop component (e.g., Baddeley, 2000 Baddeley, A. D. 2000. The phonological loop and irrelevant speech effect: Some comments on Neath. Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 7: 544–549. [Crossref], [PubMed], [Web of Science ®], [Google Scholar], Psychonomic Bulletin and Review, 7, 544). Research has focused on younger adults, with no studies examining whether concurrent articulation reduces the word length and acoustic confusion effects among older adults. In the current study, younger and older adults were given lists of similar and dissimilar letters (Experiment 1) or long and short words (Experiment 2) for immediate serial reconstruction of order. Items were presented visually or auditorily, with or without concurrent articulation. As expected, younger and older adults demonstrated effects of acoustic confusion, word length, and concurrent articulation. Further, concurrent articulation reduced the effects of acoustic confusion and word length equally for younger and older adults. This suggests that age-related differences occur in overall performance, but do not reflect an age-related deficiency in the functioning of the phonological loop component of working memory.
Bireta, T., Fine, H., & Vanwormer, L. (2013). Does working memory change with age? The interactions of concurrent articulation with the effects of word length and acoustic confusion. Aging, Neuropsychology, And Cognition, 20(2), 125-147.
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