The Network Newsletter
  Fall 2005  


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Research Award Recipient and Student Scholarship Awards Announced

The Effect of Menopause on Women’s Lexical Access


The Effect of Menopause on Women’s Lexical Access
By Dr. Rochell Newman, University of Maryland College Park

Have you ever experienced a situation of knowing the name of a person, place, or thing, but being unable to come up with the word at that instant?
Anecdotal evidence suggests that as women begin experiencing the symptoms of perimenopause, they may also begin to have more of these "tip-of-the-tongue" errors.
The current study is designed to evaluate whether the hormonal changes that accompany menopause result in these types of word-finding problems.
Examining word-finding errors during menopause is important for both practical and theoretical reasons. From a practical point of view, information on the extent to which women typically experience word-finding difficulties during menopause is as important for doctors counseling these individuals; simply knowing that these difficulties are common symptoms of menopause can be a great relief to individuals experiencing them. Theoretically, most prior studies on the memory difficulties that accompany menopause have presented subjects with lists of words to memorize, and then tested the recall of those words. This confounds difficulties in storage (initial learning) and difficulties in retrieval (remembering). Since word-finding errors are purely errors in retrieval of information, not in initial storage, this will allow us to examine more specifically the ways in which hormonal changes affect memory.

To read more about Ms. Newman and her research and publications visit  

USM Women's Forum: Enhancing the Status of Women in the
University System of Maryland

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