Service de neurologie, Hôpital Maison-Blanche, CHRU de Reims, France
Équipe de neuropsychologie et cognition auditive, Laboratoire PSITEC EA 4072, Université de Lille-Nord de France, France
Centre mémoire de recherche et de ressources (CMRR) de Champagne-Ardenne, France
We studied the comprehension abilities of healthy participants with a French version of the Chapman-Cook Speed of Reading Test. The objective was to assess the effect of gender, age and educational level on chronometric performances and errors. In this test, the task is to cross out an inappropriate word within short passages. In the original version, the participant is told to perform as quickly as possible during 150 seconds. The score is usually the number of passages correctly completed within this time limit. In the present study, we measured the time to achieve the first 10 passages, the first 14 passages corresponding to the first page and the total (29 passages) corresponding to the two pages. The number of errors was also considered. The normative sample included 150 participants (63 males; 87 females) with three educational level (47: superior to baccalaureate; 21: baccalaureate and 78: inferior to baccalaureate). Age was between 20 and 69 years old, divided in 5 age groups, without neurological or psychiatric disease, or cognitive abnormal development. All were French native speaking and have been schooling in France. For time completion, no effect of gender was found, but a significant and unexpected effect of age was shown according to educational level. Whereas the age groups obtained similar times for educational levels superior to baccalaureate, an age effect was demonstrated for the educational level inferior to baccalaureate. Participants over 40 years of age were faster than younger participants with the same educational level and similar than all age groups of higher educational level. On the contrary, young participants were slower compared to those with high educational levels and all older participants without baccalaureate. This surprising result is discussed.