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Chapter 8 - Aging-Related Alterations in Language

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  30 November 2019

Kenneth M. Heilman
University of Florida
Stephen E. Nadeau
University of Florida
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Aging is associated with decline in a number of domains of language function, most conspicuously lexical-semantic function (manifesting as word-finding difficulty), but also semantics, phonological sequence, grammatic morphology, language comprehension, syntax (so far linked only to working memory deficits), and narrative discourse. There is evidence of a number of non-disease-related mechanisms that could account for this, including increased neural network noise, age of acquisition effects, deterioration of mechanisms of selective neural network engagement, deterioration in episodic memory, alteration of the balance between volitional and reactive intention, lifelong ontogenesis of language networks, and reduction of white matter conduction velocities.

Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2019

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