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Age and the neural network of personal familiarity.

Donix M, Petrowski K, Jurjanz L, Huebner T, Herold U, Baeumler D, Amanatidis EC, Poettrich K, Smolka MN, Holthoff VA - PLoS ONE (2010)

Bottom Line: Personal familiarity is associated with the availability of semantic and episodic information as well as the emotional meaningfulness surrounding a stimulus.These features are known to be associated with neural activity in distinct brain regions across different stimulus conditions (e.g., when perceiving faces, voices, places, objects), which may reflect a shared neural basis.Although we found evidence for an age-dependent reduction in frontal cortical deactivation, our data show that there is a stimulus-independent neural network associated with personal familiarity of faces and places, which is less susceptible to aging-related changes.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Clinic Carl Gustav Carus, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany. markus.donix@uniklinikum-dresden.de

ABSTRACT

Background: Accessing information that defines personally familiar context in real-world situations is essential for the social interactions and the independent functioning of an individual. Personal familiarity is associated with the availability of semantic and episodic information as well as the emotional meaningfulness surrounding a stimulus. These features are known to be associated with neural activity in distinct brain regions across different stimulus conditions (e.g., when perceiving faces, voices, places, objects), which may reflect a shared neural basis. Although perceiving context-rich personal familiarity may appear unchanged in aging on the behavioral level, it has not yet been studied whether this can be supported by neuroimaging data.

Methodology/principal findings: We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate the neural network associated with personal familiarity during the perception of personally familiar faces and places. Twelve young and twelve elderly cognitively healthy subjects participated in the study. Both age groups showed a similar activation pattern underlying personal familiarity, predominantly in anterior cingulate and posterior cingulate cortices, irrespective of the stimulus type. The young subjects, but not the elderly subjects demonstrated an additional anterior cingulate deactivation when perceiving unfamiliar stimuli.

Conclusions/significance: Although we found evidence for an age-dependent reduction in frontal cortical deactivation, our data show that there is a stimulus-independent neural network associated with personal familiarity of faces and places, which is less susceptible to aging-related changes.

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fMRI paradigm.This figure visualizes one experimental run of the fMRI paradigm. Three of these runs, each lasting 352 s, were performed. The order of the four conditions (FF, UF, FP, UP) was counterbalanced across the runs. Each block (35 s) of a condition consisted of a visual stimulus presented from five different angles (S1-5), a familiarity question (Q), and a response (“thank you”, R). FF = familiar face, UF = unfamiliar face, FP = familiar place, UP = unfamiliar place, B = baseline (fixation cross, 9 s).
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pone-0015790-g001: fMRI paradigm.This figure visualizes one experimental run of the fMRI paradigm. Three of these runs, each lasting 352 s, were performed. The order of the four conditions (FF, UF, FP, UP) was counterbalanced across the runs. Each block (35 s) of a condition consisted of a visual stimulus presented from five different angles (S1-5), a familiarity question (Q), and a response (“thank you”, R). FF = familiar face, UF = unfamiliar face, FP = familiar place, UP = unfamiliar place, B = baseline (fixation cross, 9 s).

Mentions: According to our experimental design (see below and Figure 1) each subject was presented six familiar and six unfamiliar faces as well as six familiar and six unfamiliar places. Within each condition, a stimulus was presented five times. To avoid habituation effects the stimulus image was presented from five different angles and an individual stimulus image was not repeated within or across the experimental conditions. Therefore we utilized a total of 120 images (60 images for faces and 60 images for places) for each study subject.


Age and the neural network of personal familiarity.

Donix M, Petrowski K, Jurjanz L, Huebner T, Herold U, Baeumler D, Amanatidis EC, Poettrich K, Smolka MN, Holthoff VA - PLoS ONE (2010)

fMRI paradigm.This figure visualizes one experimental run of the fMRI paradigm. Three of these runs, each lasting 352 s, were performed. The order of the four conditions (FF, UF, FP, UP) was counterbalanced across the runs. Each block (35 s) of a condition consisted of a visual stimulus presented from five different angles (S1-5), a familiarity question (Q), and a response (“thank you”, R). FF = familiar face, UF = unfamiliar face, FP = familiar place, UP = unfamiliar place, B = baseline (fixation cross, 9 s).
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC3008748&req=5

pone-0015790-g001: fMRI paradigm.This figure visualizes one experimental run of the fMRI paradigm. Three of these runs, each lasting 352 s, were performed. The order of the four conditions (FF, UF, FP, UP) was counterbalanced across the runs. Each block (35 s) of a condition consisted of a visual stimulus presented from five different angles (S1-5), a familiarity question (Q), and a response (“thank you”, R). FF = familiar face, UF = unfamiliar face, FP = familiar place, UP = unfamiliar place, B = baseline (fixation cross, 9 s).
Mentions: According to our experimental design (see below and Figure 1) each subject was presented six familiar and six unfamiliar faces as well as six familiar and six unfamiliar places. Within each condition, a stimulus was presented five times. To avoid habituation effects the stimulus image was presented from five different angles and an individual stimulus image was not repeated within or across the experimental conditions. Therefore we utilized a total of 120 images (60 images for faces and 60 images for places) for each study subject.

Bottom Line: Personal familiarity is associated with the availability of semantic and episodic information as well as the emotional meaningfulness surrounding a stimulus.These features are known to be associated with neural activity in distinct brain regions across different stimulus conditions (e.g., when perceiving faces, voices, places, objects), which may reflect a shared neural basis.Although we found evidence for an age-dependent reduction in frontal cortical deactivation, our data show that there is a stimulus-independent neural network associated with personal familiarity of faces and places, which is less susceptible to aging-related changes.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Clinic Carl Gustav Carus, Technische Universität Dresden, Dresden, Germany. markus.donix@uniklinikum-dresden.de

ABSTRACT

Background: Accessing information that defines personally familiar context in real-world situations is essential for the social interactions and the independent functioning of an individual. Personal familiarity is associated with the availability of semantic and episodic information as well as the emotional meaningfulness surrounding a stimulus. These features are known to be associated with neural activity in distinct brain regions across different stimulus conditions (e.g., when perceiving faces, voices, places, objects), which may reflect a shared neural basis. Although perceiving context-rich personal familiarity may appear unchanged in aging on the behavioral level, it has not yet been studied whether this can be supported by neuroimaging data.

Methodology/principal findings: We used functional magnetic resonance imaging to investigate the neural network associated with personal familiarity during the perception of personally familiar faces and places. Twelve young and twelve elderly cognitively healthy subjects participated in the study. Both age groups showed a similar activation pattern underlying personal familiarity, predominantly in anterior cingulate and posterior cingulate cortices, irrespective of the stimulus type. The young subjects, but not the elderly subjects demonstrated an additional anterior cingulate deactivation when perceiving unfamiliar stimuli.

Conclusions/significance: Although we found evidence for an age-dependent reduction in frontal cortical deactivation, our data show that there is a stimulus-independent neural network associated with personal familiarity of faces and places, which is less susceptible to aging-related changes.

Show MeSH