Morphological Processing Of Complex And Simple Pseudo-words In Adults And Older Adults

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The role of morphemes in lexical recognition has been extensively explored in recent years, although the evidence from older adults is extremely scarce. In this study, we carry out a lexical decision task to assess the interference generated by morphological composition of pseudo-words (i.e., the longer and more error prone decisions on pseudo-words made up of morphemes in comparison to pseudo-words without morphological appearance) in a group of young and older adults (mean = 74 years). The results show the expected effect on both response latencies and error rates for both groups. The effect of imageability is also significant. The specific results for the older adults show an interaction between the morphological effect and cognitive reserve: older adults with higher levels of cognitive reserve are more sensitive to morphological interference than older adults with lower cognitive reserve. The overall results are interpreted based on current models of morphological processing and aging.
CRUE-CSIC (Acuerdos Transformativos 2022)