Theory, Models, and Measurement of the Life Span Development of the Mental Lexicon 


“(...) we make search in our memory for a forgotten idea, just as we rummage our house for a lost object. In both cases we visit what seems to us the probable neighborhood of that which we miss. We turn over the things under which, or within which, or alongside of which, it may possibly be; and if it lies near them, it soon comes to view. But these matters, in the case of a mental object sought, are nothing but its associates.”

William James, 1890, in The Principles of Psychology

Background and Goals

Understanding the mental lexicon and its development requires a good grasp of memory, language, and cognitive search processes. Recent years have seen considerable advances in each of these areas including a boon of new models and data. Yet, knowledge from these fields has not been fully integrated to understand the structure of the mental lexicon and how this changes across the life span.

The Symposium on the Aging Lexicon will take place in Basel, June 7-9, 2018, and gather experts in Psychology, Linguistics, Neuroscience, and related disciplines to discuss open issues with the goal of building bridges between the various perspectives and fostering research on the lifespan development of the mental lexicon and accelerate future progress in this area.