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Poster D155

Mapping the neural signatures of abstract reasoning across the lifespan

Poster Session D - Monday, April 15, 2024, 8:00 – 10:00 am EDT, Sheraton Hall ABC

Sarah Dietz1 (, Mikki Schantell1,3, Thomas W. Ward1,4, Grace C. Ende1, Danielle L. Rice1, Kennedy A. Kress1, Anna T. Coutant1, Ryan Glesinger1, Grant M. Garrison1, Lucy K. Horne1, Hannah J. Okelbery1, Jason A. John1, Tony W. Wilson1,2,3,4; 1Institute for Human Neuroscience, Boys Town National Research Hospital, Boys Town, NE, USA, 2Center for Pediatric Brain Health, Boys Town National Research Hospital, Boys Town, NE, USA, 3College of Medicine, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE, USA, 4Department of Pharmacology and Neuroscience, Creighton University, Omaha, NE, USA

Fluid intelligence (Gf) is broadly defined as the ability to problem-solve in novel situations, learn new skills, and adapt to changing environments. Abstract reasoning is a critical component of Gf and is known to undergo extensive development and refinement across the lifespan, yet the neural bases of such maturation remains poorly understood. Herein, we sought to address this gap by mapping the normative lifespan trajectory of the neural oscillatory dynamics underlying abstract reasoning. To accomplish this, we recruited a sample of 142 cognitively-normal participants (ages 9-67 years) who completed an abstract reasoning task during magnetoencephalography (MEG). MEG data were analyzed in the time-frequency domain and significant oscillatory responses relative to baseline were imaged using a beamforming approach. Whole-brain correlations with age were then conducted per oscillatory map to identify the lifespan trajectory of the neural dynamics serving abstract reasoning. These analyses revealed that oscillatory theta activity strengthened as a function of age in the primary visual cortices (r=.39, p<.005), and weakened with age in the bilateral supramarginal gyri (left: r=-.42, p<.005; right: r=-.34, p<.005). Further, alpha/beta oscillations in the right superior temporal gyrus (r=-.62, p<.005) and gamma oscillations in the right medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC; r=.30, p<.005) strengthened across the lifespan. In conclusion, these findings indicate spectrally-specific changes in the lifespan trajectories of neural oscillatory activity serving abstract reasoning, reflecting developmental fine-tuning and aging-related alterations across higher-order cognitive networks.

Topic Area: THINKING: Development & aging


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April 13–16  |  2024