Do alternative names block young and older adults’ retrieval of proper names?

Cross, E. S. and Burke, D. M. (2004) Do alternative names block young and older adults’ retrieval of proper names? Brain and Language, 89(1), pp. 174-181. (doi: 10.1016/S0093-934X(03)00363-8) (PMID:15010248)

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This study evaluates whether tip of the tongue experiences (TOTs) are caused by a more accessible word which blocks retrieval of the target word, especially for older adults. In a “competitor priming” paradigm, young and older adults produced the name of a famous character (e.g., Eliza Doolittle) in response to a question and subsequently named a picture of a famous actor or actress depicting this character (e.g., Audrey Hepburn as Eliza Doolittle). Older adults produced more TOTs than young adults, but prior production of a related character name did not affect TOTs, although it did reduce incorrect responses. There were no age differences in knowledge of films and TV and thus the age-related increase in TOTs is not because older adults have more relevant knowledge. The findings are compatible with models in which alternate words are a consequence not a cause of TOT.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Cross, Professor Emily
Authors: Cross, E. S., and Burke, D. M.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > Institute of Neuroscience and Psychology
Journal Name:Brain and Language
ISSN (Online):1090-2155
Published Online:07 January 2004

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