advertisement
Science News
from research organizations

Cognitive consequences of age-related increase in brain activity

Finding that increased brain activity reflects reduced efficiency contradicts leading theory in neuroscience of aging

Date:
July 23, 2018
Source:
Society for Neuroscience
Summary:
Increased frontal brain activity in healthy older adults reflects reduced efficiency rather than a way to maintain cognitive function, finds a study of two human samples. The findings contradict a leading theory in the neuroscience of aging.
Share:
FULL STORY

Increased frontal brain activity in healthy older adults reflects reduced efficiency rather than a way to maintain cognitive function, finds a study of two human samples published in JNeurosci. The findings contradict a leading theory in the neuroscience of aging.

The Posterior-to-Anterior Shift in Aging (PASA) theory suggests the distribution of neural activity shifts from the back to the front of the brain over the lifespan to compensate for typical age-related decline in executive functions such as memory. Alexa Morcom and Richard Henson tested predictions of this theory by analyzing functional magnetic resonance imaging data obtained from adults between 19 and 88 years of age. Their approach allowed the researchers to determine that increased prefrontal cortex activity does not carry any additional information related to participants' performance on two different memory tasks.

In contrast to the PASA theory, these results suggest that increased prefrontal cortex in aging is less specific or less efficient and may underlie age-related cognitive decline. The study instead supports the idea that the extent to which an older brain operates like a younger one is a key determinant of cognitive function in old age.

Story Source:

Materials provided by Society for Neuroscience. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Alexa M. Morcom, Richard N. A. Henson. Increased prefrontal activity with aging reflects nonspecific neural responses rather than compensation. The Journal of Neuroscience, 2018; 1701-17 DOI: 10.1523/JNEUROSCI.1701-17.2018

Cite This Page:

Society for Neuroscience. "Cognitive consequences of age-related increase in brain activity: Finding that increased brain activity reflects reduced efficiency contradicts leading theory in neuroscience of aging." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 23 July 2018. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/07/180723142912.htm>.
Society for Neuroscience. (2018, July 23). Cognitive consequences of age-related increase in brain activity: Finding that increased brain activity reflects reduced efficiency contradicts leading theory in neuroscience of aging. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 20, 2019 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/07/180723142912.htm
Society for Neuroscience. "Cognitive consequences of age-related increase in brain activity: Finding that increased brain activity reflects reduced efficiency contradicts leading theory in neuroscience of aging." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/07/180723142912.htm (accessed February 20, 2019).

RELATED STORIES

FROM AROUND THE WEB

Below are relevant articles that may interest you. ScienceDaily shares links with scholarly publications in the TrendMD network and earns revenue from third-party advertisers, where indicated.
http://www.vxiaotou.com