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Hippocampal activity during the transverse patterning task declines with cognitive competence but not with age.

Leirer VM, Wienbruch C, Paul-Jordanov I, Kolassa S, Elbert T, Kolassa IT - BMC Neurosci (2010)

Bottom Line: Better performance in several tests of verbal memory, verbal fluency and executive function was indeed associated with higher hippocampal neural activity.Age, however, was not related to the strength of hippocampal neural activity: elderly participants responded slower than younger individuals but on average produced the same neural mass activity.Our results suggest that in non-pathological aging, hippocampal neural activity does not decrease with age but is rather related to cognitive competence.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Clinical Psychology & Neuropsychology, University of Konstanz, Universitätsstr, 10, Konstanz, Germany. vera.leirer@uni-konstanz.de

ABSTRACT

Background: The hippocampus is a brain region that is particularly affected by age-related morphological changes. It is generally assumed that a loss in hippocampal volume results in functional deficits that contribute to age-related cognitive decline. In a combined cross-sectional behavioural and magnetoencephalography (MEG) study we investigated whether hippocampal-associated neural current flow during a transverse patterning task - which requires learning relational associations between stimuli - correlates with age and whether it is modulated by cognitive competence.

Results: Better performance in several tests of verbal memory, verbal fluency and executive function was indeed associated with higher hippocampal neural activity. Age, however, was not related to the strength of hippocampal neural activity: elderly participants responded slower than younger individuals but on average produced the same neural mass activity.

Conclusions: Our results suggest that in non-pathological aging, hippocampal neural activity does not decrease with age but is rather related to cognitive competence.

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Correlation of hippocampal activation and performance in Trail Making Test - B. Correlation of the average hippocampal activation (nAm) and the performance in the Trail Making Test - B (higher number means worse performance).
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Figure 6: Correlation of hippocampal activation and performance in Trail Making Test - B. Correlation of the average hippocampal activation (nAm) and the performance in the Trail Making Test - B (higher number means worse performance).

Mentions: There were significant relationships between several neuropsychological test results and hippocampal activation (see Table 3). The influence of two verbal memory tests were positive, i.e. higher scores in word list learning (p = .03) and word list delayed recall (p = .04) were associated with higher hippocampal activity (β(WLL) = .08; β(WLDR) = .14). Additionally, higher scores in both versions of the trail making test (which means worse performance) were associated with lower hippocampal activity (p(TMT-A) = .03; β(TMT-A) = -.02; p(TMT-B) = .045; β(TMT-B)= -.01) (Figure 6).


Hippocampal activity during the transverse patterning task declines with cognitive competence but not with age.

Leirer VM, Wienbruch C, Paul-Jordanov I, Kolassa S, Elbert T, Kolassa IT - BMC Neurosci (2010)

Correlation of hippocampal activation and performance in Trail Making Test - B. Correlation of the average hippocampal activation (nAm) and the performance in the Trail Making Test - B (higher number means worse performance).
© Copyright Policy - open-access
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC2944355&req=5

Figure 6: Correlation of hippocampal activation and performance in Trail Making Test - B. Correlation of the average hippocampal activation (nAm) and the performance in the Trail Making Test - B (higher number means worse performance).
Mentions: There were significant relationships between several neuropsychological test results and hippocampal activation (see Table 3). The influence of two verbal memory tests were positive, i.e. higher scores in word list learning (p = .03) and word list delayed recall (p = .04) were associated with higher hippocampal activity (β(WLL) = .08; β(WLDR) = .14). Additionally, higher scores in both versions of the trail making test (which means worse performance) were associated with lower hippocampal activity (p(TMT-A) = .03; β(TMT-A) = -.02; p(TMT-B) = .045; β(TMT-B)= -.01) (Figure 6).

Bottom Line: Better performance in several tests of verbal memory, verbal fluency and executive function was indeed associated with higher hippocampal neural activity.Age, however, was not related to the strength of hippocampal neural activity: elderly participants responded slower than younger individuals but on average produced the same neural mass activity.Our results suggest that in non-pathological aging, hippocampal neural activity does not decrease with age but is rather related to cognitive competence.

View Article: PubMed Central - HTML - PubMed

Affiliation: Clinical Psychology & Neuropsychology, University of Konstanz, Universitätsstr, 10, Konstanz, Germany. vera.leirer@uni-konstanz.de

ABSTRACT

Background: The hippocampus is a brain region that is particularly affected by age-related morphological changes. It is generally assumed that a loss in hippocampal volume results in functional deficits that contribute to age-related cognitive decline. In a combined cross-sectional behavioural and magnetoencephalography (MEG) study we investigated whether hippocampal-associated neural current flow during a transverse patterning task - which requires learning relational associations between stimuli - correlates with age and whether it is modulated by cognitive competence.

Results: Better performance in several tests of verbal memory, verbal fluency and executive function was indeed associated with higher hippocampal neural activity. Age, however, was not related to the strength of hippocampal neural activity: elderly participants responded slower than younger individuals but on average produced the same neural mass activity.

Conclusions: Our results suggest that in non-pathological aging, hippocampal neural activity does not decrease with age but is rather related to cognitive competence.

Show MeSH
Related in: MedlinePlus