Stronger left-hemisphere lateralization in older versus younger adults while processing conventional metaphors

Gitit Kavé, Ronit Gavrieli, Nira Mashal

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Thirty younger (age 20-30) and 30 older (age 69-85) right-handed Hebrew speakers performed a semantic judgement task while processing literal word pairs and conventional metaphors, presented in the divided visual field paradigm. Older adults responded more accurately to conventional metaphors in the right visual field/left hemisphere versus the left visual field/right hemisphere, whereas younger adults showed no lateralization. Vocabulary scores cancelled group differences in lateralization. An additional lexical decision task replicated the main finding of left-hemisphere lateralization in older but not in younger participants. We suggest that accumulated knowledge increases left-hemisphere lateralization on tasks of language comprehension in older relative to younger adults.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)705-717
Number of pages13
JournalLaterality
Volume19
Issue number6
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
Address correspondence to: Nira Mashal, School of Education, Multidisciplinary Brain Research Center, Bar-Ilan University, Ramat Gan 52900, Israel. Email: nmashal2@gmail.com We thank Tal Siboni for her help in data collection. The authors report no conflict of interests. Part of this work was supported by a research fund from the Open University granted to the first author [grant number 43018].

Keywords

  • Ageing
  • Divided visual field
  • Hemispheric asymmetry
  • Language

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