Stronger left-hemisphere lateralization in older versus younger adults while processing conventional metaphors.Laterality. 2014; 19(6):705-17.L
Thirty younger (age 20-30) and 30 older (age 69-85) right-handed Hebrew speakers performed a semantic judgement task while processing literal word pairs and conventional metaphors, presented in the divided visual field paradigm. Older adults responded more accurately to conventional metaphors in the right visual field/left hemisphere versus the left visual field/right hemisphere, whereas younger adults showed no lateralization. Vocabulary scores cancelled group differences in lateralization. An additional lexical decision task replicated the main finding of left-hemisphere lateralization in older but not in younger participants. We suggest that accumulated knowledge increases left-hemisphere lateralization on tasks of language comprehension in older relative to younger adults.