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Faculty Publication: Professor of Psychology Anjali Thapar

February 6, 2024

Age-Related Similarities and Differences in Cognitive and Neural Processing Revealed by Task-Related Microstate Analysis

Authors: Denaro, Chandlyr M; Reed, Catherine L; Joshi, Jasmin; Petropoulos, Astrid; Thapar, Anjali; Hartley, Alan A 

Source: Neurobiology of Aging,Volume136, Page 9-22, DOI10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2024.01.007 

Publication Type: Journal Article

Abstract: We explored neural processing differences associated with aging across four cognitive functions. In addition to ERP analysis, we included task-related microstate analyses, which identified stable states of neural activity across the scalp over time, to explore whole-head neural activation differences. Younger and older adults (YA, OA) completed face perception (N170), word-pair judgment (N400), visual oddball (P3), and flanker (ERN) tasks. Age-related effects differed across tasks. Despite age-related delayed latencies, N170 ERP and microstate analyses indicated no age-related differences in amplitudes or microstates. However, age-related condition differences were found for P3 and N00 amplitudes and scalp topographies: smaller condition differences were found for in OAs as well as broader centroparietal scalp distributions. Age group comparisons for the ERN revealed similar focal frontocentral activation loci, but differential activation patterns. Our findings of differential age effects across tasks are most consistent with the STAC-r framework which proposes that age-related effects differ depending on the resources available and the kinds of processing and cognitive load required of various task