Author(s): Dey A, Sommers MS, Dey A, Sommers MS
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Abstract Audiovisual (AV) speech perception is the process by which auditory and visual sensory signals are integrated and used to understand what a talker is saying during face-to-face communication. This form of communication is markedly superior to speech perception in either sensory modality alone. However, there are additional lexical factors that are affected by age-related cognitive changes that may contribute to differences in AV perception. In the current study, we extended an existing model of spoken word identification to the AV domain, and examined the cognitive factors that contribute to age-related and individual differences in AV perception of words varying in lexical difficulty (i.e., on the basis of competing items). Young (n = 49) and older adults (n = 50) completed a series of cognitive inhibition tasks and a spoken word identification task. The words were presented in auditory-only, visual-only, and AV conditions, and were equally divided into lexically hard (words with many competitors) and lexically easy (words with few competitors). Overall, young adults demonstrated better inhibitory abilities and higher identification performance than older adults. However, whereas no relationship was observed between inhibitory abilities and AV word identification performance in young adults, there was a significant relationship between Stroop interference and AV identification of lexically hard words in older adults. These results are interpreted within the framework of existing models of spoken-word recognition with implications for how cognitive deficits in older adults contribute to speech perception. (c) 2015 APA, all rights reserved).
This article was published in Psychol Aging
and referenced in Journal of Psychological Abnormalities