The working hypothesis for this research is that, in spite of diminished processing capacity in later adulthood (Salthouse, 1991), older adults can selectively allocate time as they read so as to optimize comprehension and memory (cf. Baltes & Baltes, 1990); because of age-related reductions in processing capacity, however, a corollary of this hypothesis is that older adults' strategies must be different from those of the young in order to accomplish cognitive outcomes comparable to those of the young. A series of studies will test this hypothesis by examining the effects of individual differences, text variables, and task variables on age differences in reading strategy (as measured by time allocation to different aspects of the text) and consequent performance (in terms of memory, comprehension, and problem solving). Thus, a combination of experimental and correlational methods will be used (Hertzog, 1995) to assess age differences in on-line resource allocation, to relate these differences to performance outcomes, and to develop recommendations to enhance text processing effectiveness for older readers with different reading goals. In light of recent work showing group age differences in how reading time is allocated as well as age differences in the strategy that engenders good recall performance (Stine, 1990; Stine et al., 1995; Stine et al., under revision), the studies in this proposal will build on this research by addressing the extent to which these differences in strategy represent reliable individual differences, the extent to which they are related to cognitive and metacognitive constructs known to be related to memory performance, the flexibility of older adults' reading strategies, and how much a priori knowledge contributes to strategies of resource allocation. In addition, the investigators will attempt to learn to what extent optimal resource allocation among the elderly can be engendered by manipulations that incur processing difficulty.

National Institute of Health (NIH)
National Institute on Aging (NIA)
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Human Development and Aging Subcommittee 3 (HUD)
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University of New Hampshire
Schools of Arts and Sciences
United States
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Liu, Xiaomei; Chin, Jessie; Payne, Brennan R et al. (2016) Adult age differences in information foraging in an interactive reading environment. Psychol Aging 31:211-23
Stine-Morrow, Elizabeth A L; Payne, Brennan R (2016) Age Differences in Language Segmentation. Exp Aging Res 42:83-96
Payne, Brennan R; Stine-Morrow, Elizabeth A L (2016) Risk for Mild Cognitive Impairment Is Associated With Semantic Integration Deficits in Sentence Processing and Memory. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci 71:243-53
Chin, Jessie; Payne, Brennan; Gao, Xuefei et al. (2015) Memory and comprehension for health information among older adults: distinguishing the effects of domain-general and domain-specific knowledge. Memory 23:577-89
Payne, Brennan R; Grison, Sarah; Gao, Xuefei et al. (2014) Aging and individual differences in binding during sentence understanding: evidence from temporary and global syntactic attachment ambiguities. Cognition 130:157-73
Payne, Brennan R; Gross, Alden L; Parisi, Jeanine M et al. (2014) Modelling longitudinal changes in older adults' memory for spoken discourse: findings from the ACTIVE cohort. Memory 22:990-1001
Payne, Brennan R; Stine-Morrow, Elizabeth A L (2014) Adult age differences in wrap-up during sentence comprehension: evidence from ex-Gaussian distributional analyses of reading time. Psychol Aging 29:213-28
Stites, Mallory C; Federmeier, Kara D; Stine-Morrow, Elizabeth A L (2013) Cross-age comparisons reveal multiple strategies for lexical ambiguity resolution during natural reading. J Exp Psychol Learn Mem Cogn 39:1823-41
Payne, Brennan R; Gao, Xuefei; Noh, Soo Rim et al. (2012) The effects of print exposure on sentence processing and memory in older adults: Evidence for efficiency and reserve. Neuropsychol Dev Cogn B Aging Neuropsychol Cogn 19:122-49
Payne, Brennan R; Stine-Morrow, Elizabeth A L (2012) Aging, parafoveal preview, and semantic integration in sentence processing: testing the cognitive workload of wrap-up. Psychol Aging 27:638-49

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