Poster A97, Saturday, March 25, 5:00 – 7:00 pm, Pacific Concourse
Age Related Changes in Neural Noise During Cognitive Control
Jorge Yanar1, Nicole Dosamantes1, Lorri Kais1, Hannah Walker1, Mark Albert1, Robert G Morrison1; 1Loyola University Chicago
Executive functions include a cluster of abilities important for cognitive control. While they commonly decline with age, their preservation is believed to provide cognitive resilience in the face of neurodegenerative disease. The neurocognitive mechanism responsible for decline in cognitive control has not been conclusively identified. Recently, Voytek et al. (2015) argued that increases in neural noise may be an important mechanism responsible for cognitive aging. They estimate neural noise by calculating the slope of the power spectral density (PSD) in semi-log space using a general linear model with a robust regression method, and find that the slope of the PSD gradually flattens with age in electrophysiological recordings made during the performance of a visual working memory task. In this study, we aimed to investigate whether neural noise as measured through these techniques also underwent age-related increases during the performance of a Go-No Go task, a common measure of response inhibition. Specifically, we recorded scalp electroencephalography (EEG) from 35 young adults (24 to 44 YO, M=30, SD=5) and 30 older adults (66 to 99 YO, M=81, SD=6) while they performed a visual Go-No Go task. We then calculated each participant’s PSD and estimated slope using RANSAC regression. Younger adults showed more negative PSD slopes in occipital, parietal, temporal, and central electrodes, with the highest correlations between slope and age being located in the occipital-parietal regions. Our results support the neural noise hypothesis and extend its findings to response inhibition on a larger sample of individuals with a broader age range.
Topic Area: METHODS: Electrophysiology