This study concretely illustrates the Birren-Fisher strategy (1991), the use of well-established aging effects to understand fundamental but poorly understood phenomena in mainstream psychology. Our well-established aging effects included inhibition deficits and new learning deficits, and our poorly understood mainstream phenomenon was repetition deafness (RD), the reduced immediate recall of repeated words in computer compressed speech. Applying the Birren-Fisher strategy to RD successfully showed that RD is fundamentally similar to repetition blindness, that normal prosody eliminates RD for both young and older participants, and that age-linked connection formation problems cause RD, but not inhibition, perceptual fusion, or an absolute refractory period.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Geriatrics and Gerontology
- Psychiatry and Mental health