Behavioral and Brain Sciences

Open Peer Commentary
Caplan & Waters: Working memory and sentence comprehension

The age invariance of working memory measures and noninvariance of producing complex syntax

Susan Kemper a1 and Karen A. Kemtes a1
a1 Department of Psychology and Gerontology Center, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS 66045


In challenging current conceptions of the role of working memory in sentence processing, Caplan & Waters consider studies comparing young and older adults on sentence processing. This commentary raises two challenges to Caplan & Waters's conclusions: first, working memory tasks appear to be age invariant. Second, the production of complex syntactic constructions appears not to be age invariant.