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An important aspect of cognitive control is the ability to overcome interference, by boosting the processing of task-relevant information while suppressing the irrelevant information. This ability is affected by the progressive cognitive decline observed in aging. The aims of this study were to shed light on the neural spectral dynamics involved in interference control and to investigate age-dependent differences in these dynamics. For these reasons two samples of participants of different ages (23 younger and 20 older adults, age range = [18 35] and [66 82], respectively) were recruited and administered a spatial Stroop task while recording electroencephalographic activity. Scalp- and source-based time-frequency analyses revealed a main role of theta and beta frequencies in interference control. Specifically, for the theta band, we found age-dependent differences both for early event-related spectral perturbation (ERSP) Stroop effects at the source level - which involved dorsomedial and dorsolateral prefrontal cortices - and for related brain-behaviour correlations. This ERSP Stroop effect in theta was greatly reduced in magnitude in the older group and, differently from what observed in younger participants, it was not correlated with behavioural performance. These results suggest an age-dependent impairment of the theta-related mechanism signalling the need of cognitive control, in line with existing findings. We also found age-related differences in ERSP and source spectral activity involving beta frequencies. Indeed, younger participants showed a specific ERSP Stroop effect in beta - with the main involvement of left prefrontal cortex - whereas the pattern of older participants was delayed in time and spread bilaterally over the scalp. This study shows clear age-related differences in the neural spectral correlates of cognitive control. These findings open new questions about the causal involvement of specific oscillations in different cognitive processes and may inspire future interventions against age-related cognitive decline.
This article was published in the following journal.
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We estimated associations of subjective cognitive decline (SCD) with neuroimaging markers of dementia and cognitive functioning in patients with a history of vascular disease without objective cogniti...
Oscillations represent basic operational modes of the human brain. They reflect local field potential activity generated by the laminar arrangement of cell-type specific microcircuits interacting brai...
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Purpose: In this study, the investigators will provide causal evidence for the role of alpha and theta oscillations in cognitive control. Participants: Participants must be healthy, betwe...
Up to 65% of patients with multiple sclerosis (MS) experience cognitive dysfunction. Diminution of mental capacity has a pervasive and profound impact on their quality of life. Subtle chan...
Cognitive action control allows resisting to irrelevant information to easily produce desired goal-directed behaviors. This cognitive process is disturbed in patients with Parkinson's dise...
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Studies designed to examine associations, commonly, hypothesized causal relations. They are usually concerned with identifying or measuring the effects of risk factors or exposures. The common types of analytic study are CASE-CONTROL STUDIES; COHORT STUDIES; and CROSS-SECTIONAL STUDIES.
Studies in which the presence or absence of disease or other health-related variables are determined in each member of the study population or in a representative sample at one particular time. This contrasts with LONGITUDINAL STUDIES which are followed over a period of time.
Field of study concerning MENTAL PROCESSES, LEARNING, and the brain regions associated with them.
Wave-like oscillations of electric potential between parts of the brain recorded by EEG.
Descriptive anatomy based on three-dimensional imaging (IMAGING, THREE-DIMENSIONAL) of the body, organs, and structures using a series of computer multiplane sections, displayed by transverse, coronal, and sagittal analyses. It is essential to accurate interpretation by the radiologist of such techniques as ultrasonic diagnosis, MAGNETIC RESONANCE IMAGING, and computed tomography (TOMOGRAPHY, X-RAY COMPUTED). (From Lane & Sharfaei, Modern Sectional Anatomy, 1992, Preface)