Effects of inhibition on naming in aging

  • Yael Neumann Queens College, City University of New York 65-30 Kissena Boulevard Queens, NY 11367 Tel.: 718-997-5061
  • Amy Vogel-Eyny Graduate Center, City University of New York
  • Dalia Cahana-Amitay VA Boston Healthcare System and Boston University School of Medicine
  • Avron Spiro VA Boston Healthcare System, Boston University School of Public Health, Boston University School of Medicine, and Goldman School of Dental Medicine
  • JungMoon Hyun Graduate Center, City University of New York, VA Boston Healthcare System and Boston University School of Medicine
  • Marting L. Albert VA Boston Healthcare System and Boston University School of Medicine
  • Loraine K. Obler Graduate Center, City University of New York, VA Boston Healthcare System and Boston University School of Medicine
Palavras-chave: Intrusões, Nomeação Rápida, Envelhecimento, Controle Inibitório, Linguagem.


Findings regarding the relation between naming and inhibition among older adults is limited. We posited inhibitory control is crucial for successful naming and tested its role in older adults by exaggerating its effects. Participants included 215 older adults aged 55-89 years, categorized as “good” or ”poor” namers, based on confrontation naming scores. Via a computerized speeded picture-naming test (SNT), we induced intrusions. We then determined the distance between the source for the intruding word and the current item. Performance on traditional neuropsychological tests of inhibition was also assessed. Results revealed that poorer namers had more intrusions on the SNT than better namers, and their intrusions lingered through more stimuli. This suggests that poorer namers experienced greater retrieval inhibition difficulties than better namers. Performance on neuropsychological tests of inhibition also discriminated between better and poorer namers. In conclusion, successful naming among older adults appears to rely heavily on maintaining inhibitory abilities.

***Efeitos da inibição na nomeação no envelhecimento***

Os achados sobre a relação entre nomeação e inibição entre os idosos são limitados. Nós postulamos que o controle inibitório é crucial para a nomeação bem-sucedida e testamos seu papel em idosos, exagerando seus efeitos. Os participantes foram 215 idosos com idades entre 55-89 anos, categorizados como "bons" ou "pobres" nomeadores, com base em pontuações de nomeação. Através de um teste computadorizado de nomeação de imagens (SNT), induzimos intrusões. Determinamos então a distância entre a fonte da palavra intrusa e o item atual. O desempenho em testes neuropsicológicos tradicionais de inibição também foi avaliado. Os resultados revelaram que os mais nomeadores “pobres” tiveram mais intrusões no SNT do que os “bons”, e suas intrusões permaneceram através de mais estímulos. Isso sugere que os nomeadores mais pobres experimentaram maiores dificuldades de inibição de recuperação do que os melhores nomeadores. O desempenho em testes neuropsicológicos de inibição também discriminou entre nomeadores melhores e mais pobres. Concluindo, a nomeação bem-sucedida entre os adultos mais velhos parece depender muito da manutenção de habilidades inibitórias.


Não há dados estatísticos.

Biografia do Autor

Yael Neumann, Queens College, City University of New York 65-30 Kissena Boulevard Queens, NY 11367 Tel.: 718-997-5061

Yael Neumann, Ph.D., CCC-SLP is an Associate professor in the Department of Linguistics and Communication Disorders at Queens College of the City University of New York.  Her research focuses on generating studies that could lead to more effective treatment models for aphasia and similar disorders. Dr. Neumann has presented numerous papers and seminars at national and international meetings on topics related to aphasia and healthy aging.


ABRAMS, L.; TRUNK, D. L.; MARGOLIN, S. J. Resolving tip-of-the-tongue states in young and older adults: The role of phonology. In: Randal, L. O. (Ed.), Aging and the Elderly: Psychology, Sociology, and Health. Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science Publishers, Inc., 2007. p. 1-41.

ALBERT, M. S.; HELLER, H. S.; MILBERG, W. Changes in naming ability with age. Psychology and Aging, v. 3, p. 173-178, 1988.

ANDERSON, N. D.; CRAIK, F. I. M. Memory in the aging brain. In: TULVING, E.; CRAIK, F. I. M. (Eds.). The Oxford Handbook of Memory. New York: Oxford University Press, 2000.

ARBUCKLE, T. Y.; GOLD, D. P. Aging, inhibition, and verbosity. Journal of Gerontology, 48, 225-232, 1993.

ARDILA, A.; ROSSELLI, M. Neuropsychological characteristics of normal aging. Developmental Neuropsychology, v. 5, p. 307-320, 1989.

ARNETT, J. A.; LABOVITZ, S. S. Effect of physical layout in performance of the Trail Making Test. Psychological Assessment, v. 7, p. 220-221, 1995.

AU, R.; JOUNG, P.; NICHOLAS, M.; OBLER, L. K.; KASS, R.; ALBERT, M. L. Naming ability across the adult life span. Aging and Cognition, v. 2, p. 300-311, 1995.

BARRESI, B. A.; NICHOLAS, M.; CONNOR, L. T.; OBLER, L. K.; ALBERT, M. L. Semantic degradation and lexical access in age-related naming failures. Aging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition, v. 7, p. 169-178, 2000.

BATTIG, W. F.; MONTAGUE, W. E. Category norms of verbal items in 56 categories: A replication and extension of the Connecticut category norms. Journal of Experimental Psychology, v. 80, p. 1-46, 1969.

BLAXTON, T. A.; NEELY, J. H. Inhibition from semantically related primes: Evidence of a category-specific inhibition. Memory and Cognition, v. 11, p. 500-510, 1983.

BOWLES, N. L.; POON, L. W. Aging and retrieval of words in semantic memory. Journal of Gerontology, v. 40, p. 71-77, 1985.

BOWLES, N. L.; OBLER, L. K.; ALBERT, M. L. Naming errors in aging and dementia of the Alzheimer type. Cortex, v. 23, p. 519-524, 1987.

BRINK, J. M.; MCDOWD, J. M. (Aging and selective attention: An issue of complexity or multiple mechanisms? Journals of Gerontology. Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, v. 54, p. 30-33, 1999.

BROWN, A. A review of the tip-of-the-tongue experience. Psychological Bulletin, v. 109, p. 204-223, 1991.

BROWN, A. S.; ZOCCOLI, S. L.; LEAHY, M. M. Cumulating retrieval inhibition in semantic and lexical domains. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, v. 31, p. 496-507, 2005.

BURKE, D. M. Language, aging, and inhibitory deficits: Evaluation of a theory. Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, v. 52B, p. 254-264, 1997.

BURKE, D. M.; MACKAY, D. G.; WORTHLEY, J. S.; WADE, E. On the tip of the tongue: What causes word finding failures in young and older adults? Journal of Memory and Language, v. 30, p. 542-579, 1991.

BURKE, D. M.; SHAFTO, M. A. Language and aging. In: Craik, Fergus I. M.; Salthouse , Timothy A. (Eds.). The handbook of aging and cognition. New York: Psychology Press, 2008. p. 373-443.

CONNOR, L. T.; MACKAY, A. J.; SCHALMAN-BERGEN, S.; FOURNIER, J. C.; OBLER, L. K.; ALBERT, M. L. Rapid picture naming: Age differences in suppressing competitors. Poster presented at the meeting of the Cognitive Aging Conference, Atlanta, GA, 2002.

DE BENI, R.; PALLADINO, P. Decline in working memory updating through ageing: Intrusion error analyses. Memory, v. 12, p. 75-89, 2004.

DEY, A.; SOMMERS, M. S. Age-related differences in inhibitory control predict audiovisual speech perception. Psychology and Aging, v. 30, p. 634-646, 2015.

EARLES, J. L.; CONNOR, L. T.; SMITH, A. D.; PARK, D. C. Interrelations of age, self-reported health, speed, and memory. Psychology and Aging, v. 12, p. 675-683, 1997.

FEYEREISEN, P. A meta-analytic procedure shows an agerelated decline in picture naming: Comments on Goulet, Ska, and Kahn. Journal of Speech and Hearing Research, v. 40, p. 1328-1333, 1997.

FIORE, F.; BORELLA, E.; MAMMARELLA, I. C.; DE BENI, R. Age differences in verbal and visuo-spatial working memory updating: Evidence from analysis of serial position curves. Memory, v. 20, p. 14-27, 2012.

GARRETT, M. Disorders of lexical selection. In: LEVELT, W. J. M. (Ed.). Lexical access in speech production. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell, 1993. p. 143-180.

GORAL, M.; SPIRO III, A.; ALBERT, M. L.; OBLER, L. K.; CONNOR, L. T. Change in lexical retrieval skills in adulthood. The Mental Lexicon, v. 2, p. 215-238, 2007.

GORAL, M.; CLARK-COTTON, M.; SPIRO III, A.; OBLER, L.K.; VERKUILEN, J.; ALBERT, M. The contribution of set switching and working memory to sentence processing in older adults. Experimental Aging Research, v. 37, p. 516-538, 2011.

HASHER, L.; ZACKS, R, T. Working memory, comprehension, and aging: A review and new view. In: Bower, G. H. (Ed.). The psychology of learning and motivation: Advances in research and theory. New York: Academic Press, 1988. Vol. 22. p. 193-225.

HASHER, L.; ZACKS, R. T.; MAY, C. P. Inhibitory control, circadian arousal, and age. In: Gopher, D.; Koriat , A. (Eds.). Attention & Performance, XVII, Cognitive Regulation of Performance: Interaction of Theory and Application. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1999. p. 653-675.

HEALEY, M. K.; CAMPBELL, K. L.; HASHER, L. Chapter 22 cognitive aging and increased distractibility: Costs and potential benefits. Progress in Brain Research, v. 169, p. 353-363, 2008.

JAMES, L. E.; BURKE, D. M. Phonological priming effects on word retrieval and tip-of-the-tongue experiences in young and older adults. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, v. 26, p. 1378-1391, 2000.

JOHNSON, S. K.; ANSERSON, M. C. The role of inhibitory control in forgetting semantic knowledge. A Journal of the Association for Psychological Science, v. 15, p. 448-453, 2004.

LE DORZE, G.; DUROCHER, J. The effects of age, educational level, and stimulus length on naming in normal subjects. Journal of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology, v. 16, p. 21-29, 1992.

LEVELT, W. J. M. Spoken word production: A theory of lexical access. PNAS, v. 98, n. 23, p. 13464-13471, 2001.

LEVITT, T. Processing speed, attentional capacity, and agerelated memory change. Experimental Aging Research, v. 32, p. 263-295, 2006.

LEVY, B. J.; ANDERSON, M. C. Inhibitory processes and the control of memory retrieval. Trends in Cognitive Sciences, v. 6, p. 299-305, 2002.

MACKAY, D. G.; ABRAMS, L. Language, memory, and aging: Distributed deficits and the structure of new vs. old connections. In: Birren, J. E.; ?K.W., 1996. (?INCOMPLETO: autor. obra. cid:edit.)

MACKAY, D. G.; BURKE, D. M. Cognition and aging: A theory of new learning and the use of old connections. In: Hess, T. M. (Ed.). Aging and cognition: Knowledge organization and utilization. Amsterdam: North-Holland, 1990. p. 213-263.

MARTIN, N.; DELL, G. S. Perseverations and anticipations in aphasia: Primed intrusions from the past and future. Seminars in Speech and Language Pathology, v. 25, p. 349-362, 2004.

MARTIN, N.; DELL, G. S. Common mechanisms underlying perseverative and non-perseverative sound and word substitutions. Aphasiology, v. 21, p. 1017-1992, 2007.

MARTIN, N.; ROACH, A.; BRECHER, A.; LOWERY, J. Lexical retrieval mechanisms underlying whole-word perseveration errors in anomic aphasia. Aphasiology, v. 12, p. 319-333, 1998.

MORRIS, N.; JONES, D. M. Memory updating in workingmemory: The role of the central executive. British Journal of Psychology, v. 81, p. 111-121, 1990.

MIYAKE, A.; FRIEDMAN, N. P.; EMERSON, M. J.; WITZKI, A. H.; HOWERTER, A.; WAGER, T. D. The unity and diversity of executive functions and their contributions to complex “frontal lobe” tasks: A latent variable analysis. Cognitive Psychology, v. 41, p. 49-100, 2000.

NEUMANN, Y.; OBLER, L. K.; GOMES, H.; SHAFER, V. Phonological vs sensory contributions to age effects in naming: An electrophysiological study. Aphasiology, v, 23, p. 1028- 1039, 2009.

NICHOLAS, M.; AUTOR 6; AUTOR5; GOODGLASS, H. Lexical retrieval in healthy aging. Cortex, v. 21, p. 595-606, 1985.

OBERLE, S.; JAMES, L. E. Semantically- and phonologicallyrelated primes improve name retrieval in young and older adults. Language and Cognitive Processes, v, 28, p. 1378-1393, 2013. doi: 10.1080/01690965.2012.685481

PARK, D. C.; SMITH, A. D.; LAUTENSCHLAGER, G.; EARLES, J. L.; FRIESKE, D.; ZWAHR, M. D.; GAINES, C. Mediators of long-term memory performance across the life span. Psychology and Aging, v. 11, p. 621-637, 1996.

POON, L. W.; FOZARD, J. L. Speed of retrieval from longterm memory in relation to age, familiarity, and datedness of information. Journal of Gerontology, v. 33, p. 711-717, 1978.

RASTLE, K. G. & BURKE, D. M. Priming the tip of the tongue: Effects of prior processing on word retrieval in young and older adults. Journal of Memory and Language, v. 35, p. 586-605, 1996.

ROBERT, C.; MATHEY, S. Aging and lexical inhibition: The effects of orthographic neighborhood frequency in young and older adults. Journal of Gerontology: Psychological Sciences, v. 62B, 340-342, 2007.

SALTHOUSE, T. A. The processing-speed theory of adult age differences in cognition. Psychological Review, v. 103, p. 403-428, 1996.

SALTHOUSE, T. A. The nature of the influence of speed on adult age differences in cognition. Developmental Psychology, v. 30, p. 240-259, 1994.

SALTHOUSE, T. A theory of cognitive aging. New York: Elsevier Science, 2000.

SNODGRASS, J. G.; VANDERWART, M. A standardized set of 260 pictures: Norms for name agreement, image agreement, familiarity, and visual complexity. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Human Learning and Memory, v. 6, p. 174-215, 1980.

SOMMERS, M. S.; DANIELSON, S. M. Inhibitory processes and spoken word recognition in young and older adults: The interaction of lexical competition and semantic context. Psychology and Aging, v. 14, p. 458-472, 1999.

SPREEN, O.; STRAUSS, E. A compendium of neuropsychological tests: Administration, norms, and commentary. 2. ed. London: Oxford University Press, 1998.

STADTLANDER, L. M. Age differences in orthographic and frequency neighborhoods. Advances in Psychology, v. 110, p. 72-86, 1995.

STRAUSS, E.; SHERMAN, E. M. S.; SPREEN, O. A compendium of neuropsychological tests: Administration, norms, and commentary. 3. ed. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.

STROOP, J. R. Studies of interference in serial verbal reactions. Journal of Experimental Psychology, v. 18, p. 643-662, 1935.

THOMAS, J. C.; FOZARD, J. L.; WAUGH, N. C. Age-related differences in naming latency. The American Journal of Psychology, p. 499-509, 1977.

TOMBAUGH, T. N.; HUBIEY, A. M. The 60-item Boston Naming Test: Norms for cognitively intact adults aged 25 to 88 years. Journal of Clinical and Experimental Neuropsychology, v. 19, p. 922-932, 1997.

TULVING, E.; ARBUCKLE, T. Y. Input and output interference in short-term associative memory. Journal of Experimental Psychology, v. 72, p. 145-150, 1966.

VAN DER LINDEN, M.; BRE´DART, S.; BEERTEN, A. Age-related differences in updating working memory. British Journal of Psychology, v. 85, p. 145-152, 1994.

Como Citar
Neumann, Y., Vogel-Eyny, A., Cahana-Amitay, D., Spiro, A., Hyun, J., Albert, M. L., & Obler, L. K. (2018). Effects of inhibition on naming in aging. Letras De Hoje, 53(1), 13-23. https://doi.org/10.15448/1984-7726.2018.1.28654
Linguagem na perspectiva da Psico/Neurolinguística e da Neurociência Cognitiva