Objectives: The purpose of this study was to investigate age-related differences in event-related potential (ERP) components associated with locality effects on processing time references between younger and elderly adults using a verb-final language. Methods: A total of 32 participants participated in the study. The locality was manipulated by the distance between time-adverbs and verbs with short- and long-distance conditions. The tense agreement between time-adverbs and tense markers in the verbs was manipulated by varying the levels of agreement, resulting in a total of four conditions as a function of the distance and tense agreement. Results: Behavioral results revealed that the elderly group showed significantly lower accuracy and slower reaction time (RT) than the younger group. Longer distance and disagreement of tense references elicited lower accuracy and longer RTs. Group differences emerged in 600-800 ms, with the elderly group presenting reduced amplitude compared to the younger adults. Conclusion: Elderly adults demonstrated greater difficulties in integrating syntactic components required for processing tense references over the distance. Attenuated P600 components in the elderly group indicate that it is likely to be attributed to reduced cognitive capacity and slowed processing speed in elderly adults.
- Event related potential (ERP)
- Tense agreement