Phonological and lexical-semantic short-term memory and their relationship to sentence production in older adults

Michelle Miller, Jeffrey S. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

3 Scopus citations


Evidence from brain-damaged patients suggests a link between lexical-semantic retention capacity and sentence production. The present study seeks to establish whether lexical-semantic retention capacity changes with normal aging, and whether individual differences in this capacity predict the degree of increased difficulty older speakers have producing sentences with two-noun initial phrases, relative to those with one-noun initial phrases, elicited in a picture naming task. Older adults performed significantly better than younger adults on one of two tests of lexical-semantic retention, and performed similarly to younger adults on tests of phonological retention. Lexical-semantic capacity, but not phonological capacity, predicted the size of the initial phrase complexity effect in older adults. Results suggest that lexical-semantic retention ability is preserved in normal aging and does play a role in sentence production.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)395-415
Number of pages21
JournalAging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2004


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Psychology(all)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology

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