Tracking talking: Dual task costs of planning and producing speech for young versus older adults

Susan Kemper, Lesa Hoffman, Ralynn Schmalzried, Ruth Herman, Doug Kieweg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Scopus citations


A digital pursuit rotor was used to monitor speech planning and production costs by time-locking tracking performance to the auditory wave form produced as young and older adults were describing someone they admire. The speech sample and time-locked tracking record were segmented at utterance boundaries and multilevel modeling was used to determine how utterance-level predictors such as utterance duration or sentence grammatical complexity and person-level predictors such as speaker age or working memory capacity predicted tracking performance. Three models evaluated the costs of speech planning, the costs of speech production, and the costs of speech output monitoring. The results suggest that planning and producing propositionally dense utterances is more costly for older adults and that older adults experience increased costs as a result of having produced a long, informative, or rapid utterance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)257-279
Number of pages23
JournalAging, Neuropsychology, and Cognition
Issue number3
StatePublished - May 2011
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging
  • Dual task demands
  • Fluency
  • Speech planning
  • Speech production

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health


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