The rise and fall of word retrieval across the lifespan

Gitit Kavé*, Ariel Knafo, Asaf Gilboa

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

53 Scopus citations


Picture-naming performance for 48 black-and-white drawings was investigated in 1,145 Hebrew speakers, ages 5-86. Both a linear and a curvilinear quadratic model fit the data, reflecting an increase in ability with age as well as an increase followed by a decrease beyond that linear rise. Late-life performance was more affected by access difficulty than was early-life performance, with children's responses limited by lexicon size. Immigrants performed more poorly than nonimmigrants, but an identical correlation between participant age and naming scores was found in both groups. We discuss the role of vocabulary funds and controlled access in naming pictures throughout life.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)719-724
Number of pages6
JournalPsychology and Aging
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2010


  • Cognitive aging
  • Lifespan development
  • Naming
  • Vocabulary
  • Word retrieval


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