초록

본 연구에서는 노화에 따른 인지적 변화 양상을 여러 인지 영역에 걸쳐 포괄적으로 살펴보았다. 청년, 중년, 노인의 세 연령 집단을 대상으로 다양한 검사도구와 실험과제를 사용하여 어휘력, 기억, 지각, 주의, 언어처리에서의 수행을 비교하였다. 검사도구(K-WAIS, K-MAS)를 사용해 어휘력, 작업기억, 언어적 기억, 지각 및 공간 능력을 검토했으며, 실험과제(스트룹, 어휘판단, 의미범주판단)를 사용해 선택적 주의 및 언어처리과정을 검토했다. 연구 결과 모든 영역에서 연령 증가에 따른 전반적 쇠퇴를 공통적으로 확인할 수 있었으며, 그 변화 양상은 영역 별로 차이가 있었다. 연령 증가에 따라 지각능력은 급격한 쇠퇴를 보였으나 어휘력은 상대적으로 보존되었으며, 작업 및 언어기억은 지각보다는 완만하나 역시 지속적 감소를 보였다. 실험 결과에서 반응시간의 증가 양상이 세 과제에서 일치하면서 노화에 따른 공통적 속도 저하를 보여주었으며, 오반응률에서는 과제 간 대조적 패턴을 보여 노화에 대한 민감성이 주의와 언어처리에서 차이가 있음을 보여주었다. 본 연구 결과는 노화에 따른 인지적 변화 양상에 전반적으로 공통된 부분과 영역 특수적인 부분이 공존하고 있음을 시사해준다.

키워드

인지, 노화, 연령, 노인, 청년, 어휘력, 기억, 지각, 주의, 언어

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