In previous research on """"""""Speech Accommodations by and to Older Adults"""""""" using a referential communication task, young adults adjusted their fluency, semantic content, and syntactic complexity to the perceived communication needs of their partners. Older adults did not make such speech adjustments and appeared to use a consistent speech style in a variety of situations, suggesting, like other lines of research, that older adults' speech production is constrained by working memory limitations that affect their production of complex syntactic constructions. The present proposal will extend this study of older adults' speech accommodations by using """"""""on-line"""""""" experimental tasks manipulated the working memory demands of sentence production tasks. Three series of experiments are proposed. Series 1 will analyze language samples to assess the effects on concurrent processing demands on linguistic fluency, syntactic complexity, and semantic content. A baseline language sample will be compared to language samples collected while participants are concurrently walking, tapping their index fingers, tapping four fingers in a complex pattern, listening to concurrent speech, and listening to auditory babble. These concurrent tasks have previously been shown to affect performance on working memory tasks, hence, they are predicted to compete for working memory and, in turn affect speech production. Walking and tapping rates will also be examined in baseline and concurrent speaking conditions. Series 2 will use a sentence production task that controls the choice of lexical items and examines the latency to generate a sentence using a specified set of lexical items and the complexity of the generated sentence. Three experiments are planned: (2a) To examine sentence initiation times and sentence complexity as a function of the size of the set of specified lexical items. (2b) To examine sentence initiation times and sentence complexity for sentences generated from single verbs or for sentences generated from multiple verbs. (2c) To examine sentence initiation times and sentence complexity for sentences generated to complete simple and complex sentence frames using a specified inventory of lexical items. Series 3 will use a controlled sentence production task that examines the latency to initiate memorized sentences. Three experiments are planned: (3a) To examine sentence initiation times for simple and complex sentences. (3b) To examine intra-sentence pauses during the production of simple and complex sentences. (3c) To examine sentence initiation times for semantically constrained and reversible sentences. In all three series of experiments, individual differences in verbal ability, processing speed, working memory, and inhibition will also be examined.

Agency
National Institute of Health (NIH)
Institute
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
Type
Research Project (R01)
Project #
2R01AG009952-06
Application #
2752032
Study Section
Special Emphasis Panel (ZRG2-SSS-C (04))
Program Officer
Elias, Jeffrey W
Project Start
1993-12-01
Project End
2003-11-30
Budget Start
1998-12-01
Budget End
1999-11-30
Support Year
6
Fiscal Year
1999
Total Cost
Indirect Cost
Name
University of Kansas Lawrence
Department
Other Health Professions
Type
Organized Research Units
DUNS #
072933393
City
Lawrence
State
KS
Country
United States
Zip Code
66045
Brown, Cati; Snodgrass, Tony; Kemper, Susan J et al. (2008) Automatic measurement of propositional idea density from part-of-speech tagging. Behav Res Methods 40:540-5
Kemper, Susan; Liu, Chiung-Ju (2007) Eye movements of young and older adults during reading. Psychol Aging 22:84-93
Kemper, Susan; McDowd, Joan; Pohl, Patricia et al. (2006) Revealing language deficits following stroke: the cost of doing two things at once. Neuropsychol Dev Cogn B Aging Neuropsychol Cogn 13:115-39
Kemper, Susan; Herman, Ruth E (2006) Age differences in memory-load interference effects in syntactic processing. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci 61:P327-32
Kemper, Susan; Herman, Ruth E; Nartowicz, Jennifer (2005) Different effects of dual task demands on the speech of young and older adults. Neuropsychol Dev Cogn B Aging Neuropsychol Cogn 12:340-58
Kemper, Susan; Herman, Ruth E; Liu, Chiung-Ju (2004) Sentence production by young and older adults in controlled contexts. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci 59:P220-4
Kemper, Susan; Crow, Angela; Kemtes, Karen (2004) Eye-fixation patterns of high- and low-span young and older adults: down the garden path and back again. Psychol Aging 19:157-70
Kemper, Susan; Herman, Ruth E; Lian, Cindy H T (2003) The costs of doing two things at once for young and older adults: talking while walking, finger tapping, and ignoring speech or noise. Psychol Aging 18:181-92
Kemper, Susan; Herman, Ruth; Lian, Cindy (2003) Age differences in sentence production. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci 58:P260-8
Kemper, S; Marquis, J; Thompson, M (2001) Longitudinal change in language production: effects of aging and dementia on grammatical complexity and propositional content. Psychol Aging 16:600-14

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