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    Neural correlates of age-related decline and compensation in visual attention capacity

    Wiegand, I. and Tollner, T. and Dyrholm, M. and Muller, Hermann J. and Bundesen, C. and Finke, K. (2014) Neural correlates of age-related decline and compensation in visual attention capacity. Neurobiology of Aging 35 (9), pp. 2161-2173. ISSN 0197-4580.

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    We identified neural correlates of declined and preserved basic visual attention functions in aging individuals based on Bundesen’s ‘Theory of Visual Attention’ (TVA). In an inter-individual difference approach, we contrasted electrophysiology of higher- and lower-performing younger and older participants. In both age groups, the same distinct components indexed performance levels of TVA parameters visual processing speed C and visual short-term memory (vSTM) storage capacity K: The posterior N1 marked inter-individual differences in C and the contralateral delay activity (CDA) marked inter-individual differences in K. Moreover, both parameters were selectively related to two further ERP waves in older age: The anterior N1 was reduced for older participants with lower processing speed, indicating that age-related loss of attentional resources slows encoding. An enhanced right-central positivity (RCP) was found only for older participants with high storage capacity, suggesting compensatory recruitment for retaining vSTM performance. Together, our results demonstrate that attentional capacity in older age depends on both preservation and successful reorganization of the underlying brain circuits.


    Item Type: Article
    Keyword(s) / Subject(s): Aging, Theory of Visual Attention, event-related potentials (ERP), compensation, individual differences, N1, contralateral delay activity (CDA), Processing speed, visual-short term memory (vSTM)
    School: School of Science > Psychological Sciences
    Depositing User: Administrator
    Date Deposited: 04 Mar 2014 10:51
    Last Modified: 10 Jun 2014 12:12


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