The present study addressed the effects of aging on auditory serial- recall performance for natural and synthetic words. Word difficulty, measured in terms of frequency of occurrence and phonological similarity, and rate of presentation were also manipulated in an effort to determine which processes underlying serial-recall performance, if any, were affected by aging. Results indicated that age per se had little effect on short-term (working) memory as measured by the serial recall of monosyllabic words. Rate of presentation had little effect on recall for either subject group. Word difficulty, on the other hand, affected recall for both groups, with easy words being more readily recalled than hard words.
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