Publication Details

Steiner, G. Z., Gonsalvez, C. J., De Blasio, F. M. & Barry, R. J. (2016). Electrophysiology of memory-updating differs with age. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 8 136-1-136-7.


In oddball tasks, the P3 component of the event-related potential systematically varies with the time between target stimuli-the target-to-target interval (TTI). Longer TTIs result in larger P3 amplitudes and shorter latencies, and this pattern of results has been linked with working memory-updating processes. Given that working memory and the P3 have both been shown to diminish with age, the current study aimed to determine whether the linear relationship between P3 and TTI is compromised in healthy aging by comparing TTI effects on P3 amplitudes and latencies, and reaction time (RT), in young and older adults. Older adults were found to have an overall reduction in P3 amplitudes, longer latencies, an anterior shift in topography, a trend toward slower RTs, and a flatter linear relationship between P3 and TTI than young adults. Results suggest that the ability to maintain templates in working memory required for stimulus categorization decreases with age, and that as a result, neural compensatory mechanisms are employed.



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