The research proposed here will investigate the abilities of elderly subjects and patients with Dementia of the Alzheimer's Type (DAT) to understand sentences and to use the meaning of sentences to accomplish tasks. It will study different aspects of sentence comprehension tasks, providing new information about the abilities of elderly subjects and patients with DAT to process syntactic form and sentence meaning. It will examine the relationship between impairments in verbal working memory and those of sentence comprehension in these populations. It will also provide new information about changes in the neural basis for the process of sentence comprehension in elderly subjects and patients with DAT. The results of these studies will increase our understanding of the nature of the sentence comprehension process in aging and DAT, and the nature of the neural basis for this process in these populations.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
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Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG2-HUD-2 (03))
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Massachusetts General Hospital
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Evans, William S; Caplan, David; Ostrowski, Adam et al. (2015) Working memory and the revision of syntactic and discourse ambiguities. Can J Exp Psychol 69:136-55
Caplan, David; Dede, Gayle; Waters, Gloria et al. (2011) Effects of age, speed of processing, and working memory on comprehension of sentences with relative clauses. Psychol Aging 26:439-50
Evans, William S; Caplan, David; Waters, Gloria (2011) Effects of concurrent arithmetical and syntactic complexity on self-paced reaction times and eye fixations. Psychon Bull Rev 18:1203-11
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DeDe, Gayle; Caplan, David; Kemtes, Karen et al. (2004) The relationship between age, verbal working memory, and language comprehension. Psychol Aging 19:601-16
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Rochon, E; Waters, G S; Caplan, D (2000) The relationship between measures of working memory and sentence comprehension in patients with Alzheimer's disease. J Speech Lang Hear Res 43:395-413
Caplan, D; Waters, G S (1999) Verbal working memory and sentence comprehension. Behav Brain Sci 22:77-94;discussion 95-126

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