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Change in lexical retrieval skills in adulthood

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We conducted multivariate random-effect analyses on longitudinal data from 238 adults, ranging in age from 30 to 94, who were tested on five lexical tests over a period of 20 years to examine (a) the relations between lemma and lexeme retrieval as manifested in different tests of lexical retrieval and (b) changes in lexical processing during older adulthood. This study documents differing profiles of age-related decline in lexical retrieval determined by task demand, gender, education, and underlying cognitive skills. The tasks that required retrieval of unique lexical items (Boston Naming Test and Action Naming Test) yielded significant age-related decline that became more rapid in older age, distinguishing them from tasks that allowed for the retrieval of various lexical items. Findings support a cascaded progression of lemma and lexeme retrieval during word production.
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Keywords: aging; lemma; lexeme; lexical-retrieval; list generation; longitudinal; multivariate; picture naming

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2007-01-01

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