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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 ERP amplitudes in the N400/P300 time window in the model using incongruous-associated coding. See Figure 1 for a guide to interpreting the figure.
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Figure 4: Visualisation of fixed effects estimates for ERP amplitudes in the N400/P300 time window in the model using incongruous-associated coding. See Figure 1 for a guide to interpreting the figure.

Mentions: Figure 4 visualizes the fixed effects for the best-fitting model in the early time window with incongruous–associated coding (i.e., comparing effects of conditions ANT and REL to the grand mean). A full model specification is provided in Supplementary Table S6. Without consideration of AGE, the effects are similar to those in the match–mismatch encoding model described above; the interaction of COND and ROI reflects a positivity for ANT and a negativity for REL in posterior ROIs, and an amplitude reversal at anterior sites. In regard to the effects of AGE, however, the two models differ: there is no significant effect of AGE on condition REL.


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 ERP amplitudes in the N400/P300 time window in the model using incongruous-associated coding. 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 4: Visualisation of fixed effects estimates for ERP amplitudes in the N400/P300 time window in the model using incongruous-associated coding. See Figure 1 for a guide to interpreting the figure.
Mentions: Figure 4 visualizes the fixed effects for the best-fitting model in the early time window with incongruous–associated coding (i.e., comparing effects of conditions ANT and REL to the grand mean). A full model specification is provided in Supplementary Table S6. Without consideration of AGE, the effects are similar to those in the match–mismatch encoding model described above; the interaction of COND and ROI reflects a positivity for ANT and a negativity for REL in posterior ROIs, and an amplitude reversal at anterior sites. In regard to the effects of AGE, however, the two models differ: there is no significant effect of AGE on condition REL.

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