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Age-Related Changes in Predictive Capacity Versus Internal Model Adaptability: Electrophysiological Evidence that Individual Differences Outweigh Effects of Age.

Bornkessel-Schlesewsky I, Philipp M, Alday PM, Kretzschmar F, Grewe T, Gumpert M, Schumacher PB, Schlesewsky M - Front Aging Neurosci (2015)

Bottom Line: Event-related brain potentials (ERPs) were measured in a group of older adults (60-81 years; n = 40) as they read sentences of the form "The opposite of black is white/yellow/nice." Replicating previous work in young adults, results showed a target-related P300 for the expected antonym ("white"; an effect assumed to reflect a prediction match), and a graded N400 effect for the two incongruous conditions (i.e. a larger N400 amplitude for the incongruous continuation not related to the expected antonym, "nice," versus the incongruous associated condition, "yellow").However, effects of age were outweighed by the interindividual variability of ERP responses, as reflected in the high proportion of variance captured by the inclusion of by-condition random slopes for participants and items.We thus argue that - at both a neurophysiological and a functional level - the notion of general differences between language processing in young and older adults may only be of limited use, and that future research should seek to better understand the causes of interindividual variability in the ERP responses of older adults and its relation to cognitive performance.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory, School of Psychology, Social Work and Social Policy, University of South Australia, Adelaide SA, Australia.

ABSTRACT
Hierarchical predictive coding has been identified as a possible unifying principle of brain function, and recent work in cognitive neuroscience has examined how it may be affected by age-related changes. Using language comprehension as a test case, the present study aimed to dissociate age-related changes in prediction generation versus internal model adaptation following a prediction error. Event-related brain potentials (ERPs) were measured in a group of older adults (60-81 years; n = 40) as they read sentences of the form "The opposite of black is white/yellow/nice." Replicating previous work in young adults, results showed a target-related P300 for the expected antonym ("white"; an effect assumed to reflect a prediction match), and a graded N400 effect for the two incongruous conditions (i.e. a larger N400 amplitude for the incongruous continuation not related to the expected antonym, "nice," versus the incongruous associated condition, "yellow"). These effects were followed by a late positivity, again with a larger amplitude in the incongruous non-associated versus incongruous associated condition. Analyses using linear mixed-effects models showed that the target-related P300 effect and the N400 effect for the incongruous non-associated condition were both modulated by age, thus suggesting that age-related changes affect both prediction generation and model adaptation. However, effects of age were outweighed by the interindividual variability of ERP responses, as reflected in the high proportion of variance captured by the inclusion of by-condition random slopes for participants and items. We thus argue that - at both a neurophysiological and a functional level - the notion of general differences between language processing in young and older adults may only be of limited use, and that future research should seek to better understand the causes of interindividual variability in the ERP responses of older adults and its relation to cognitive performance.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Visualisation of fixed effects estimates for the best-fitting model of ERP amplitudes in the N400/P300 time window. See Figure 1 for a guide to interpreting the figure.
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Figure 3: Visualisation of fixed effects estimates for the best-fitting model of ERP amplitudes in the N400/P300 time window. See Figure 1 for a guide to interpreting the figure.

Mentions: For the 350–500 ms time window, the best-fitting LMM included AGE and by-condition random slopes for participants and items. The fixed effects for the best-fitting model are visualized in Figure 3; for a full model specification and Wald χ2–statistics for the fixed effects in the model, see Supplementary Tables S4 and S5, respectively. As expected from our previous work, the data showed a main effect of COND and an interaction of COND × ROI. The interaction resulted from a pronounced positivity for condition ANT and a negativity for condition NONREL in posterior ROIs, but an amplitude reversal at anterior sites. Here, antonyms showed more negative-going ERP responses. For present purposes, however, interactions between COND and AGE are of particular interest. Notably, the three-way interaction COND × ROI × AGE reached significance, resulting from an interaction between COND and AGE for both ANT and REL, particularly in the right-posterior ROI.


Age-Related Changes in Predictive Capacity Versus Internal Model Adaptability: Electrophysiological Evidence that Individual Differences Outweigh Effects of Age.

Bornkessel-Schlesewsky I, Philipp M, Alday PM, Kretzschmar F, Grewe T, Gumpert M, Schumacher PB, Schlesewsky M - Front Aging Neurosci (2015)

Visualisation of fixed effects estimates for the best-fitting model of ERP amplitudes in the N400/P300 time window. See Figure 1 for a guide to interpreting the figure.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4663277&req=5

Figure 3: Visualisation of fixed effects estimates for the best-fitting model of ERP amplitudes in the N400/P300 time window. See Figure 1 for a guide to interpreting the figure.
Mentions: For the 350–500 ms time window, the best-fitting LMM included AGE and by-condition random slopes for participants and items. The fixed effects for the best-fitting model are visualized in Figure 3; for a full model specification and Wald χ2–statistics for the fixed effects in the model, see Supplementary Tables S4 and S5, respectively. As expected from our previous work, the data showed a main effect of COND and an interaction of COND × ROI. The interaction resulted from a pronounced positivity for condition ANT and a negativity for condition NONREL in posterior ROIs, but an amplitude reversal at anterior sites. Here, antonyms showed more negative-going ERP responses. For present purposes, however, interactions between COND and AGE are of particular interest. Notably, the three-way interaction COND × ROI × AGE reached significance, resulting from an interaction between COND and AGE for both ANT and REL, particularly in the right-posterior ROI.

Bottom Line: Event-related brain potentials (ERPs) were measured in a group of older adults (60-81 years; n = 40) as they read sentences of the form "The opposite of black is white/yellow/nice." Replicating previous work in young adults, results showed a target-related P300 for the expected antonym ("white"; an effect assumed to reflect a prediction match), and a graded N400 effect for the two incongruous conditions (i.e. a larger N400 amplitude for the incongruous continuation not related to the expected antonym, "nice," versus the incongruous associated condition, "yellow").However, effects of age were outweighed by the interindividual variability of ERP responses, as reflected in the high proportion of variance captured by the inclusion of by-condition random slopes for participants and items.We thus argue that - at both a neurophysiological and a functional level - the notion of general differences between language processing in young and older adults may only be of limited use, and that future research should seek to better understand the causes of interindividual variability in the ERP responses of older adults and its relation to cognitive performance.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Cognitive Neuroscience Laboratory, School of Psychology, Social Work and Social Policy, University of South Australia, Adelaide SA, Australia.

ABSTRACT
Hierarchical predictive coding has been identified as a possible unifying principle of brain function, and recent work in cognitive neuroscience has examined how it may be affected by age-related changes. Using language comprehension as a test case, the present study aimed to dissociate age-related changes in prediction generation versus internal model adaptation following a prediction error. Event-related brain potentials (ERPs) were measured in a group of older adults (60-81 years; n = 40) as they read sentences of the form "The opposite of black is white/yellow/nice." Replicating previous work in young adults, results showed a target-related P300 for the expected antonym ("white"; an effect assumed to reflect a prediction match), and a graded N400 effect for the two incongruous conditions (i.e. a larger N400 amplitude for the incongruous continuation not related to the expected antonym, "nice," versus the incongruous associated condition, "yellow"). These effects were followed by a late positivity, again with a larger amplitude in the incongruous non-associated versus incongruous associated condition. Analyses using linear mixed-effects models showed that the target-related P300 effect and the N400 effect for the incongruous non-associated condition were both modulated by age, thus suggesting that age-related changes affect both prediction generation and model adaptation. However, effects of age were outweighed by the interindividual variability of ERP responses, as reflected in the high proportion of variance captured by the inclusion of by-condition random slopes for participants and items. We thus argue that - at both a neurophysiological and a functional level - the notion of general differences between language processing in young and older adults may only be of limited use, and that future research should seek to better understand the causes of interindividual variability in the ERP responses of older adults and its relation to cognitive performance.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus