Volume 2, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1871-1340
  • E-ISSN: 1871-1375
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  • Change in lexical retrieval skills in adulthood

  • Author(s): Mira Goral 1 , Avron Spiro III 2 , Martin L. Albert 3 , Loraine K. Obler 4  and Lisa Tabor Connor 5
  • View Affiliations Hide Affiliations
    1 Department of Neurology, Boston University School of Medicine and VA Boston Healthcare System
    2 VA Boston Healthcare System and Department of Epidemiology, Boston University School of Public Health
    3 Department of Speech-Language-Hearing Sciences, Lehman College, the City University of New York
    4 Program in Speech and Hearing Sciences, the Graduate Center of the City University of New York
    5 Program in Occupational Therapy and Department of Radiology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis
  • Source: The Mental Lexicon, Volume 2, Issue 2, Jan 2007, p. 215 - 238
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1075/ml.2.2.05gor


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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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): aging; lemma; lexeme; lexical-retrieval; list generation; longitudinal; multivariate; picture naming
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