DOI: 10.14704/nq.2019.17.1.1902

Emotion and Reading Comprehension in Elderly and Young Adults: An ERP Study

Hyunji Kim


The purpose of this study is to determine the effects of emotion and information processing methods on the reading comprehension of elderly and young adults by measuring event related potentials (ERPs). Thirteen young men and thirteen elderly people participated in this study. The elderly subjects were selected using the Korean-Mini Mental State Examination (K-MMSE). We used the N400 event-related potential component to measure the ease of processing implausible words. The results of this study showed that young adults had higher accuracy and faster response times for sentence discrimination than elderly adults. The results showed that older adults had higher N400 amplitudes in the negative than positive emotion condition, whereas younger adults showed no influence of emotion. The results demonstrated that adopting an algorithmic reading method to read word-by-word in elderly people reduces the cognitive burden. This finding suggests that young and older adults’ optimal reading performance may differ in positive and negative emotional states.


Emotion, Aging, Reading, N400, Information processing

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Supporting Agencies

Kyungpook National University

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