Arthur Wingfield

Arthur WingfieldProfessor Emeritus of Psychology

Research Description

Human Memory

The memory problem in normal aging has its roots in reduced efficiency in acquiring new information, and it is largely this limitation that later translates into memory failures.  Our approach to this question is focused on rapid speech comprehension, and memory for what has been heard.  A major factor we examine is the effect of reduced hearing acuity, as hearing loss, whether mild, moderate, or more severe, often accompanies normal aging.  In addition to these sensory changes are age-sensitive reductions in the capacity of working memory and speed of perceptual processing that would paradoxically seem to predict far more serious decrements in spoken language comprehension than one actually sees in healthy aging.  At the same time, the perceptual effort due to even a mild hearing loss may bring a cost to successful speech perception in the form of a draw on attentional resources that would otherwise be available for understanding speech with complex syntax, or encoding the speech in memory. 

We use "time-compressed" speech on a computer to artificially increase speech rates beyond normal levels, while still maintaining the natural flow, timing and pitch contour of the speech. When older adults are tested, rates of decline in recall for unrelated word-lists can be five-times greater than for a matched group of young adults. We then use computer editing of the speech to add structural coherence, prosodic contour and linguistic constraints to the speech to explore how these features are used by older adults to bring their performance to a level more closely approaching that of the young. In this way we are able to examine the delicate interplay between "top-down" contextual support (at both the acoustic and linguistic levels) as it may be used to supplement the declining sensory, or "bottom-up" analysis of the acoustic signal itself.  His current research uses pupillometry to measure perceptual effort in normal hearing adults and in older adults who interact with the auditory world using cochlear implants.

Dr. Wingfield received his doctorate in Experimental Psychology from Oxford University after receiving a Master’s degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology from Northwestern University.  His research on spoken language comprehension and memory in adult aging has been recognized by two successive MERIT Awards from the National Institute on Aging, as well as an Editor’s Award from the Journal of Speech and Hearing Research for his early work on time-compressed speech.  He is recipient of the 2010 Baltes Distinguished Research Achievement Award from Division 20 of the American Psychological Association and the Margaret M. and Paul B. Baltes Foundation in Berlin.  He has been a visiting professor at the University of Cambridge, England, the University of Copenhagen, and UCLA. His research is funded by the National Institute of Health’s National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders.

Selected Publications

  • Paige LE, Fields EC, Gutchess A. Influence of age on the effects of lying on memory. Brain Cogn. 2019 Jul;133:42-53
  • Sabik NJ, Geiger AM, Thoma MV, Gianferante D, Rohleder N, Wolf JM. The effect of perceived appearance judgments on psychological and biological stress processes across adulthood. Stress Health. 2019 Mar 18.
  • Robinson SA, Bisson AN, Hughes ML, Ebert J, Lachman ME. Time for change: using implementation intentions to promote physical activity in a randomised pilot trial. Psychol Health. 2019 Feb;34(2):232-254.
  • Nitsan G, Wingfield A, Lavie L, Ben-David BM. Differences in working memory capacity affect online spoken word recognition: Evidence from eye movements. Trends in Hearing. 2019; 23:1-12.
  • Penn LR, Ayasse ND, Wingfield A, Ghitza O. The possible role of brain rhythms in perceiving fast speech: Evidence from adult aging. J Acoust Soc Am. 2018 Oct;144(4):2088.
  • Hughes ML, Agrigoroaei S, Jeon M, Bruzzese M, Lachman ME. Change in Cognitive Performance From Midlife Into Old Age: Findings from the Midlife in the United States (MIDUS) Study. J Int Neuropsychol Soc. 2018 Sep;24(8):805-820.
  • Robinson SA, Lachman ME. Perceived control and cognition in adulthood: The mediating role of physical activity. Psychol Aging. 2018 Aug;33(5):769-781
  • Robinson SA, Lachman ME. Daily Control Beliefs and Cognition: The Mediating Role of Physical Activity. J Gerontol B Psychol Sci Soc Sci. 2018 Jun 30.
  • Lee YS, Wingfield A, Min NE, Kotloff E, Grossman M, Peelle JE. Differences in Hearing Acuity among "Normal-Hearing" Young Adults Modulate the Neural Basis for Speech Comprehension. eNeuro. 2018 May-Jun;5(3).
  • Rogers CS, Payne L, Maharjan S, Wingfield A, Sekuler R. Older adults show impaired modulation of attentional alpha oscillations: Evidence from dichotic listening. Psychol Aging. 2018 Mar;33(2):246-258.
  • Ayasse ND, Johns AR, Wingfield A. Speech comprehension and cognition in adult aging. Oxford Research Encyclopedia of Psychology. 2018.
  • Amichetti NM, Atagi E, Kong YY, Wingfield A. Linguistic Context Versus Semantic Competition in Word Recognition by Younger and Older Adults With Cochlear Implants. Ear Hear. 2018 Jan/Feb;39(1):101-109.
  • Ayasse ND, Wingfield A. A Tipping Point in Listening Effort: Effects of Linguistic Complexity and Age-Related Hearing Loss on Sentence Comprehension. Trends Hear. 2018 Jan-Dec;22.
  • Paige LE, Amado S, Gutchess AH. Influence of encoding instructions and response bias on cross-cultural differences in specific recognition. Cult Brain. 2017 Oct;5(2):153-168.
  • Paige LE, Ksander JC, Johndro HA, Gutchess AH. Cross-cultural differences in the neural correlates of specific and general recognition. Cortex. 2017 Jun;91:250-261.
  • Auslander MV, Thomas AK, Gutchess AH. Confidence Moderates the Role of Control Beliefs in the Context of Age-Related Changes in Misinformation Susceptibility. Exp Aging Res. 2017 May-Jun;43(3):305-322.
  • Robinson SA, Lachman ME. Perceived Control and Aging: A Mini-Review and Directions for Future Research. Gerontology. 2017;63(5):435-442.
  • Payne, L., C. S. Rogers, A. Wingfield and R. Sekuler (2017). "A right-ear bias of auditory selective attention is evident in alpha oscillations." Psychophysiology 54(4): 528-535.
  • Ayasse, N. D., A. Lash and A. Wingfield (2016). "Effort Not Speed Characterizes Comprehension of Spoken Sentences by Older Adults with Mild Hearing Impairment." Front Aging Neurosci 8: 329.

  • Hadar, B., J. E. Skrzypek, A. Wingfield and B. M. Ben-David (2016). "Working Memory Load Affects Processing Time in Spoken Word Recognition: Evidence from Eye-Movements." Front Neurosci 10: 221.

  • Pichora-Fuller, M. K., S. E. Kramer, M. A. Eckert, B. Edwards, B. W. Hornsby, L. E. Humes, U. Lemke, T. Lunner, M. Matthen, C. L. Mackersie, G. Naylor, N. A. Phillips, M. Richter, M. Rudner, M. S. Sommers, K. L. Tremblay and A. Wingfield (2016). "Hearing Impairment and Cognitive Energy: The Framework for Understanding Effortful Listening (FUEL)." Ear Hear 37 Suppl 1: 5S-27S.

  • Wingfield, A. (2016). "Evolution of Models of Working Memory and Cognitive Resources." Ear Hear 37 Suppl 1: 35S-43S.

  • Peelle JE, Wingfield A. "The Neural Consequences of Age-Related Hearing Loss." Trends Neurosci. 2016 Jun 1. pii: S0166-2236(16)30036-4.

  • Lee YS, Min NE, Wingfield A, Grossman M and Peelle JE (2016). "Acoustic richness modulates the neural networks supporting intelligible speech processing." Hear Res. 2016 Mar;333:108-17.

  • Amichetti NM, White AG and Wingfield A (2016). "Multiple Solutions to the Same Problem: Utilization of Plausibility and Syntax in Sentence Comprehension by Older Adults with Impaired Hearing." Frontiers in Psychology 7.

  • DeCaro R, Peelle JE, Grossman M and Wingfield A (2016). "The Two Sides of Sensory-Cognitive Interactions: Effects of Age, Hearing Acuity, and Working Memory Span on Sentence Comprehension." Front Psychol. 2016 Feb 29;7:236. 

  • Albers MW, Gilmore GC, Kaye J, Murphy C, Wingfield A, Bennett DA, Boxer AL, Buchman AS, Cruickshanks KJ, Devanand DP, Duffy CJ, Gall CM, Gates GA, Granholm AC, Hensch T, Holtzer R, Hyman BT, Lin FR, McKee AC, Morris JC, Petersen RC, Silbert LC, Struble RG, Trojanowski JQ, Verghese J, Wilson DA, Xu S and Zhang LI (2015). "At the interface of sensory and motor dysfunctions and Alzheimer's disease." Alzheimers Dement. 2015 Jan;11(1):70-98. 

  • Rogers CS and Wingfield A (2015). "Stimulus-independent semantic bias misdirects word recognition in older adults." J Acoust Soc Am. 2015 Jul;138(1):EL26-30.

  • Wingfield A, Amichetti NM and Lash A (2015). "Cognitive aging and hearing acuity: modeling spoken language comprehension." Front Psychol. 2015 Jun 11;6:684. 

  • Wingfield A. and Peelle JE (2015). "The effects of hearing loss on neural processing and plasticity." Front Syst Neurosci. 2015 Mar 6;9:35.

  • Cousins KA, Dar H, Wingfield A and Miller P (2014). "Acoustic masking disrupts time-dependent mechanisms of memory encoding in word-list recall." Mem Cognit. 2014 May;42(4):622-38. 

  • Lash A and Wingfield A (2014). "A Bruner-Potter effect in audition? Spoken word recognition in adult aging." Psychol Aging.2014 Dec;29(4):907-12.

  • Amichetti NM, Stanley RS, White AG, Wingfield A. (2013). "Monitoring the capacity of working memory: Executive control and effects of listening effort." Mem Cognit. 2013 Aug;41(6):839-49. .

  • Lash A, Rogers CS, Zoller A, Wingfield A. (2013). "Expectation and entropy in spoken word recognition: effects of age and hearing acuity."Experimental Aging Research 2013;39(3):235-53.

  • Brownell, H., Hoyte, K., Piquado, T., & Wingfield, A. (2012). "Analytic methods for single subject and small sample aphasia research: Some illustrations and practical discussion."  In M. Faust (Ed.), Handbook of the Neuropsychology of Language.  Vol. 2: Language processing in the brain: Special populations (pp. 595- 618). Blackwell-Wiley.

  • Benichov J, Cox LC, Tun PA, Wingfield A. (2012). "Word recognition within a linguistic context: effects of age, hearing acuity, verbal ability, and cognitive function. " Ear and Hearing. 33, 250-6.

  • Wingfield A and Peelle JE (2012). "How does hearing loss affect the brain?" Aging Health, 2012 Apr;8(2):107-109.

  • Stanley R, Tun PA, Brownell H and Wingfield A (2012). "Hidden costs of effortful listening on speech comprehension." In T.P. Long & L.R. Eifert (Eds.), Speech processing and auditory processing disorders: Causes, diagnosis and treatment.  Hauppauge, NY: Nova Science Publishers.

  • Humes LE, Dubno JR, Gordon-Salant S, Lister JJ, Cacace AT, Cruickshanks KJ, Gates GA, Wilson RH and Wingfield A (2012).  "Central presbycusis: A review and evaluation of the evidence." Journal of the American Academy of Audiology. 2012 Sep;23(8):635-66.

  • Piquado T, Benichov JI, Brownell H and Wingfied, A (2012). "The hidden effect of hearing acuity on speech recall, and compensatory effects of self-paced listening." International Journal of Audiology, 51, 576-583.