Edited by Ellen Bialystok and Margot D. Sullivan
[Studies in Bilingualism 53] 2017
► pp. 21–53
Chapter 3. How aging and bilingualism influence language processing
Theoretical and neural models
Healthy non-pathological aging is characterized by cognitive and neural decline, and although language is one of the more stable areas of cognition, older adults often show deficits in language production, showing word finding failures, increased slips of the tongue, and increased pauses in speech. Overall, research on language comprehension in older healthy adults show that it is more preserved than language production. Bilingualism has been shown to confer a great deal of neuroplasticity across the life span, including a number of cognitive benefits especially in executive functions such as cognitive control. Many models of bilingual language processing have been proposed to explain bilingual language processing. However, the question remains open of how such models might be modulated by age-related changes in language. Here, we discuss how current models of language processing in non-pathological aging, and models of bilingual language processing can be integrated to provide new research directions.