Aging and the segmentation of narrative film

Neuropsychol Dev Cogn B Aging Neuropsychol Cogn. 2014;21(4):444-63. doi: 10.1080/13825585.2013.832138. Epub 2013 Aug 28.

Abstract

The perception of event structure in continuous activity is important for everyday comprehension. Although the segmentation of experience into events is a normal concomitant of perceptual processing, previous research has shown age differences in the ability to perceive structure in naturalistic activity, such as a movie of someone washing a car. However, past research has also shown that older adults have a preserved ability to comprehend events in narrative text, which suggests that narrative may improve the event processing of older adults. This study tested whether there are age differences in event segmentation at the intersection of continuous activity and narrative: narrative film. Younger and older adults watched and segmented a narrative film, The Red Balloon, into coarse and fine events. Changes in situational features, such as changes in characters, goals, and objects predicted segmentation. Analyses revealed little age-difference in segmentation behavior. This suggests the possibility that narrative structure supports event understanding for older adults.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / psychology*
  • Comprehension*
  • Concept Formation
  • Humans
  • Middle Aged
  • Motion Pictures*
  • Narration*
  • Psychological Tests
  • Task Performance and Analysis
  • Young Adult