Older adults are known to benefit from supportive context in order to compensate for age-related reductions in perceptual and cognitive processing, including when comprehending spoken language in adverse listening conditions. In the present study, we examine how younger and older adults benefit from two types of contextual support, predictability from sentence context and priming, when identifying target words in noise-vocoded sentences. In the first part of the experiment, benefit from context based on primarily semantic knowledge was evaluated by comparing the accuracy of identification of sentence-final target words that were either highly predictable or not predictable from the sentence context. In the second part of the experiment, benefit from priming was evaluated by comparing the accuracy of identification of target words when noise-vocoded sentences were either primed or not by the presentation of the sentence context without noise vocoding and with the target word replaced with white noise. Younger and older adults benefited from each type of supportive context, with the most benefit realized when both types were combined. Supportive context reduced the number of noise-vocoded bands needed for 50% word identification more for older adults than their younger counterparts.

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