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Cognitive control over action in the aging brain: patterns of cortical over-activation and their underlying mechanisms.

Surprisingly little research has been conducted on age-related neural changes in situations where cognition penetrates into action, despite behavioural observations that the ability to switch between tasks and inhibit responses declines with advancing age. Even though neuroimaging experiments have shown age-related overactivation for cognitive and motor tasks, the underlying mechanisms are virtually unknown. This additional activation is presumed to be compensatory, assisting older individuals in their efforts to maintain parity of performance with younger counterparts. One mechanism underlying age-related performance decrements and cortical over-activation may be dysfunction of the basal ganglia (BG). Experiments will test this new hypothesis using structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).
Date:1 Oct 2009 →  29 Feb 2012
Keywords:Switching, Inhibition, Basal ganglia, Cognitive control, Event-related fMRI, Aging
Disciplines:Gerontology and geriatrics, Nursing, Neurosciences, Biological and physiological psychology, Cognitive science and intelligent systems, Developmental psychology and ageing, Orthopaedics