Approximately 10 million Americans over the age of 65 suffer from hearing impairment, making it the third most prevalent chronic medical condition among older adults. Hearing impairment not only impacts communicative effectiveness between older adults and health care and social service providers, but it can lead to withdrawal from social networks, loneliness and a declining sense of self-efficacy. This renewal application follows an interdisciplinary approach combining the perspectives of cognitive psychology and audiology to study the special challenge of comprehension and memory for meaningful speech by older adults with age-related hearing loss. A primary concern is that hearing loss may not only result in the inability to correctly identify words in a speech message. Our concern is also that when word recognition is successful, it may come at the cost of perceptual effort that consumes attentional resources that might otherwise be available for higher-level comprehension and memory operations. That is, even a mild hearing decline may be the source of subtle but significant contributions to declines in older adults'cognitive performance. Among our goals is to test the hypothesis that perceptual effort in the context of mild-to- moderate age-related hearing loss draws already limited attentional resources that older adults might ordinarily use for higher-level comprehension operations and encoding what has been heard in memory. The mechanism underlying the beneficial effects of linguistic context, to include the contribution of speech prosody, may be to reduce processing demands as the speech is being heard, with consequent mitigation of the effects of auditory declines and declines in working memory. It is our goal to use cognitive aging theory to inform our understanding of older adults'ability to comprehend and recall spoken information as well as using these findings to inform our understanding of cognitive aging. Successful outcome of this research will advance public health by providing guidelines for maximizing spoken communication with older adults who have reduced hearing acuity, as well as supplying data for those wishing to develop guidelines for testing older adults'hearing and testing hearing aid efficacy for a wider range of speech stimuli than is currently employed.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
5R01AG019714-10
Application #
8132455
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG1-BBBP-F (02))
Program Officer
Chen, Wen G
Project Start
2001-07-01
Project End
2012-08-31
Budget Start
2011-09-01
Budget End
2012-08-31
Support Year
10
Fiscal Year
2011
Total Cost
$209,275
Indirect Cost
Name
Brandeis University
Department
Psychology
Type
Schools of Arts and Sciences
DUNS #
616845814
City
Waltham
State
MA
Country
United States
Zip Code
02454
Payne, Lisa; Rogers, Chad S; Wingfield, Arthur et al. (2017) A right-ear bias of auditory selective attention is evident in alpha oscillations. Psychophysiology 54:528-535
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Peelle, Jonathan E; Wingfield, Arthur (2016) The Neural Consequences of Age-Related Hearing Loss. Trends Neurosci 39:486-97
Amichetti, Nicole M; White, Alison G; Wingfield, Arthur (2016) Multiple Solutions to the Same Problem: Utilization of Plausibility and Syntax in Sentence Comprehension by Older Adults with Impaired Hearing. Front Psychol 7:789
Lee, Yune-Sang; Min, Nam Eun; Wingfield, Arthur et al. (2016) Acoustic richness modulates the neural networks supporting intelligible speech processing. Hear Res 333:108-117
Hadar, Britt; Skrzypek, Joshua E; Wingfield, Arthur et al. (2016) Working Memory Load Affects Processing Time in Spoken Word Recognition: Evidence from Eye-Movements. Front Neurosci 10:221
Ayasse, Nicole D; Lash, Amanda; Wingfield, Arthur (2016) Effort Not Speed Characterizes Comprehension of Spoken Sentences by Older Adults with Mild Hearing Impairment. Front Aging Neurosci 8:329
Wingfield, Arthur (2016) Evolution of Models of Working Memory and Cognitive Resources. Ear Hear 37 Suppl 1:35S-43S
Albers, Mark W; Gilmore, Grover C; Kaye, Jeffrey et al. (2015) At the interface of sensory and motor dysfunctions and Alzheimer's disease. Alzheimers Dement 11:70-98
Rogers, Chad S; Wingfield, Arthur (2015) Stimulus-independent semantic bias misdirects word recognition in older adults. J Acoust Soc Am 138:EL26-30

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