We investigated how aging modulates lexico-semantic processes in the visual (seeing written items), auditory (hearing spoken items) and audiovisual (seeing written items while hearing congruent spoken items) modalities. Participants were young and older adults who performed a delayed lexical decision task (LDT) presented in blocks of visual, auditory, and audiovisual stimuli. Event-related potentials (ERPs) revealed differences between young and older adults despite older adults’ ability to identify words and pseudowords as accurately as young adults. The observed differences included more focalized lexico-semantic access in the N400 time window in older relative to young adults, stronger re-instantiation and/or more widespread activity of the lexicality effect at the time of responding, and stronger multimodal integration for older relative to young adults. Our results offer new insights into how functional neural differences in older adults can result in efficient access to lexico-semantic representations across the lifespan.
|Publication status||Published - 2022|
- Lexical decision
- Lexico-semantic access
- Mixed-effects models
- Multisensory integration