Our laboratory examines the impact of cognitive aging on language processing. More specifically, our research investigates the structure and function of developmental changes in the ability to attend to, comprehend, and remember text. As we grow older, we experience both gains in crystallized abilities (e.g., knowledge) and declines in fluid abilities (e.g., processing speed). Our laboratory investigates how these changes affect our cognitive and language abilities. This area of research is of high importance because language ability remains a crucial skill throughout the entire lifespan, yet much remains to be discovered about aging and the influence of (a) external factors such as text structure, text difficulty, or reading environment, and (b) internal factors such as reader goals, reader knowledge, or reader beliefs. This is a large set of factors yielding many exciting avenues for discovery. We employ numerous experimental and quantitative methodologies to investigate our research questions, including computer-based methods and eye-tracking equipment.
For more information on this lab contact Dr. Matthew Shake.