Altered verbal fluency processes in older adults with age-related hearing loss

David G. Loughrey, Serguei V.S. Pakhomov, Brian A. Lawlor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Epidemiological studies have linked age-related hearing loss (ARHL) with an increased risk of neurocognitive decline. Difficulties in speech perception with subsequent changes in brain morphometry, including regions important for lexical-semantic memory, are thought to be a possible mechanism for this relationship. This study investigated differences in automatic and executive lexical-semantic processes on verbal fluency tasks in individuals with acquired hearing loss. The primary outcomes were indices of automatic (clustering/word retrieval at start of task) and executive (switching/word retrieval after start of the task) processes from semantic and phonemic fluency tasks. To extract indices of clustering and switching, we used both manual and computerised methods. There were no differences between groups on indices of executive fluency processes or on any indices from the semantic fluency task. The hearing loss group demonstrated weaker automatic processes on the phonemic fluency task. Further research into differences in lexical-semantic processes with ARHL is warranted.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number110794
JournalExperimental Gerontology
StatePublished - Feb 2020


  • Age-related hearing loss
  • Cognitive decline
  • Executive function
  • Fluency
  • Memory

PubMed: MeSH publication types

  • Journal Article
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

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