Poster A114, Saturday, March 24, 1:30–3:30 pm, Exhibit Hall C
Interactions between Age and Sex in Rhythmic Attention Networks
Alex Wiesman1, Tony W Wilson1; 1University of Nebraska Medical Center
The capacity to dynamically allocate neural resources towards salient features in the visual space is integral to normative cognitive function, and has been found to be supported by a wide range of rhythmic neural networks. Further, visual attention function has been found to decline moderately with age and differ by sex, but the effects of these key demographic variables on the oscillatory dynamics supporting visual attention are not understood. In this study, we investigated the relationships between age, sex, and spectrally-specific visuospatial attention networks using spatially-resolved magnetoencephalography (MEG) in a large sample of healthy adults (N = 77; age range = 22-72 years). All MEG data were transformed into the time-frequency domain, imaged using a beamformer approach, and examined using whole-brain statistical methods. Our results showed that reaction time, frontal theta oscillations, beta activity in motor cortices, and temporo-parietal gamma oscillations were strongly correlated with age. Intriguingly, many of these responses also exhibited differential aging effects according to sex, indicating an interaction between these variables. In other words, our data support the notion that the neural coding of visuospatial attention function evolves across the lifespan, and that this evolution differs substantially according to biological sex. Quantifying the impact of basic demographic factors, such as age and biological sex, on the oscillatory components supporting visual attention is integral to achieving a more complete understanding of the diverse, dynamic patterns of population-level neural activity that supports attention function in the human brain.
Topic Area: ATTENTION: Development & aging