The effects of age and education on pragmatic features of verbal communication: Evidence from the Italian version of the Right Hemisphere Language Battery (I-RHLB)

Sergio Zanini, Karen Bryan, Guido De Luca, Antonio Bava

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Background: The field of pragmatic impairments of verbal communication in cerebrally damaged subjects dates back almost three decades. However, a systematic investigation of pragmatic competences has never been completed in a large sample of normal adults controlling for age and education factors. Aims: We aimed to examine the effects of age and education on the main features of pragmatics of verbal communication in a large sample of normal healthy subjects. Methods & procedures: We developed an Italian version of the Right Hemisphere Language Battery devised by Bryan (1995) and administered it to 440 normal volunteers. Ages ranged from 20 to 79 years, and education corresponded to Italian levels of education. Outcomes & results: We found that ageing and low education influenced performance on almost all the subtests of the I-RHLB. In particular, performance dropped at 70-79 years, particularly in those with the lowest level of education. Conclusions: These results suggest that processing of the pragmatic features of verbal communication parallels the decline of other cognitive functions associated with ageing and low education that previous studies have already established.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1107-1133
Number of pages27
JournalAphasiology
Volume19
Issue number12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Neurology

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