Neuroimaging studies of normal aging
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Neuroimaging studies of normal aging. • The effects of normal aging on cognition • Neuroimaging as a scientific tool • The physiological basis of cognitive changes in normal aging . Visuospatial skills. Attention. Executive function. Language. Memory.

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Neuroimaging studies of normal aging

• The effects of normal aging on cognition

• Neuroimaging as a scientific tool

• The physiological basis of cognitive changes

in normal aging


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Visuospatial skills

Attention

Executive function

Language

Memory


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Working Memoryis the ability to maintain and manipulate information over short periods of time necessary to guide behavior


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4371506 -----> 4371506 MAINTAIN

4371506 -----> 6051734 MAINTAIN

and

MANIPULATE


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Where’s the

flag?

Should I

kick it?

Is this supposed

to be fun?


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1000

800

20s-30s

50s-60s

Mean Reaction Time (msec)

600

70s-80s

400

200

ALONE

COUNTING

DIGIT SPAN

Task Condition


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STRUCTURAL

FUNCTIONAL

Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Positron Emission Tomography


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Structural brain changes with aging

changes in brain volume

young

old


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OTHER BRAIN REGIONS

FRONTAL


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STRUCTURAL

FUNCTIONAL

Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Positron Emission Tomography


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YOUNG

OLD


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SPATIAL RESOLUTION

Primary visual cortex (V1)

Ocular dominance columns

red = right eye

blue = left eye



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CUE

DELAY

RESPONSE

+

+

+


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YOUNG

ELDERLY

UNDERRECRUITMENT

NON-SELECTIVE RECRUITMENT

OVER

RECRUITMENT

YOUNG

OLD


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800

600

400

Reaction Time (msec)

200

0

2 Letters

6 Letters


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FASTEST

SLOWEST

YOUNG


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Neural recruitment

LESS ---------------------> MORE

FAST ---------------------> SLOW

Information processing speed


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1500

1250

1000

750

500

Old

Young

Reaction Time (msec)

2

6

2

6

Memory Load


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FASTEST

SLOWEST

YOUNG

OLD


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Neural recruitment

LESS ------------------------------------------------> MORE

FAST ---------------------> SLOW

YOUNG

OLD

SLOW ---------------------> FAST

Information processing speed


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Summary

• Age-related decline in selective cognitive processes

• Functional MRI is a powerful method with excellent spatial

and temporal resolution to study the physiological basis of

cognitive decline in normal aging

• Evidence for selective prefrontal cortical dysfunction

(I.e. under-recruitment) with normal aging

• Possible neural as well as behavioral compensation


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Working memory task

Functional MRI

EVXRC

e

time