Getting the Brain into Gear – An Online Study

Oosterhuis, Elise and Slade, Kate and May, Patrick and Nuttall, Helen E (2021) Getting the Brain into Gear – An Online Study. In: BeOnline, 2021-06-29 - 2021-06-30, Online. (Unpublished)

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Healthy ageing is related to word-finding difficulties. Cognitive reserve (CR) is defined as the ability to use cognitive processes efficiently and flexibly, to compensate for age-related cognitive decline. CR is measured through lifetime experiences (e.g education) and social and intellectually stimulating activities. We aimed to investigate the relationship between age-related word-finding difficulties and CR in 90 healthy adults aged between 18-30, 40-55, and 65-80 years (30 participants per group). The participants were right-handed, monolingual speakers of British English. We quantified CR through questionnaires on lifetime experiences. With use of the audio-recording function in Gorilla, we investigated word-finding abilities through picture-naming and verbal fluency tasks, controlling for the effects of processing speed, working memory, and executive functioning. We expect that adults aged 65-80 will have difficulties with word-finding due to age-related cognitive decline, resulting in slower reaction times in the picture-naming tasks. Since frequently used words are more easily accessed from memory, we expect older participants (aged 65-80) to use a higher proportion of high-frequent words in the verbal fluency task than younger adults. Finally, we expect that high levels of CR in the older adults will result in better performance on the language tasks, resembling that of the younger adults.

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15 Jun 2022 14:55
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19 Jun 2024 23:43