Predictors of semantic categorical flexibility in older adults

Authors

  • Célia Maintenant,

    Corresponding author
    1. EA 2114, Psychologie des Ages de la vie, François Rabelais University, Tours, France
      Célia Maintenant, Université François Rabelais, 3 rue des Tanneurs, 37041 Tours Cedex 1, France (e-mail: celia.maintenant@univ-tours.fr).
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  • Agnès Blaye,

    1. Laboratoire de Psychologie Cognitive, Aix Marseille Université, Aix en Provence, France
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  • Valérie Pennequin,

    1. EA 2114, Psychologie des Ages de la vie, François Rabelais University, Tours, France
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  • Jean-Louis Paour

    1. Research Center for the Psychology of Cognition, Language and Emotion, Aix Marseille Université, Aix en Provence, France
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Célia Maintenant, Université François Rabelais, 3 rue des Tanneurs, 37041 Tours Cedex 1, France (e-mail: celia.maintenant@univ-tours.fr).

Abstract

This study investigated the processes involved in the aging of semantic categorical flexibility. A previous study revealed the effects of aging on the flexible use of taxonomic relations. We aimed to explain our previous results regarding the performance of older adults; we carried out investigations into the respective roles of executive and conceptual factors in semantic categorical flexibility. Fifty older adults carried out a semantic categorical flexibility task alongside conceptual and executive measures. The results replicate our previous findings and indicate that the predictors of the maintenance of the use of taxonomic relations are conceptual and the predictors of the switching from thematic to taxonomic relations are executive.

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