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Title:Effects of Expectancy and Context an Anaphor Resolution in Older and Younger Adults
Author(s):Shake, Matthew
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Stine-Morrow, Elizabeth A.L.
Department / Program:Educational Psychology
Discipline:Educational Psychology
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Language, Linguistics
Abstract:One crucial component of reading comprehension is the ability to bind current information to earlier text, which is often accomplished via anaphoric expressions (e.g., a pronoun referring to a previous noun). Some early work has suggested that aging brings about increased difficulty in resolving anaphoric expressions; however, little work has examined the effects of aging on the moment-to-moment demands of anaphor resolution, to determine the time course of older adults' anaphor resolution processes. In this dissertation, three experiments were conducted using eye-tracking to examine older and younger adults' eye movements as they read passages containing anaphoric violations of stereotype expectations (e.g., "The firefighter burned herself while rescuing victims from the building"). Results show that (a) anaphor resolution remains relatively intact into old age, though age-related differences do occur, primarily in reprocessing and regressive eye movements (i.e., rereading), and (b) effects of expectancy violation during reading are not immediately moderated by the presence of prior disambiguating context, however such contextual inoculation does influence subsequent reprocessing. These results suggest that (a) cognitive aging is accompanied by increased reprocessing or rereading of confusing text, and (b) contextual influence on anaphor resolution manifests itself in the time course only after initial access of the antecedent.
Issue Date:2009
Description:173 p.
Thesis (Ph.D.)--University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2009.
Other Identifier(s):(MiAaPQ)AAI3363088
Date Available in IDEALS:2015-09-25
Date Deposited:2009

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