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      Differences in the functional neuroanatomy of inhibitory control across the adult life span.

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      Psychology and Aging

      American Psychological Association (APA)

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          Abstract

          Inhibitory control, the ability to suppress irrelevant or interfering stimuli, is a fundamental cognitive function that deteriorates during aging, but little is understood about the bases of decline. Thus, we used event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to study inhibitory control in healthy adults aged 18 to 78. Activation during "successful inhibition" occurred predominantly in right prefrontal and parietal regions and was more extensive, bilaterally and prefrontally, in the older groups. Presupplementary motor area was also more active in poorer inhibitory performers. Therefore, older adults activate areas that are comparable to those activated by young adults during inhibition, as well as additional regions. The results are consistent with a compensatory interpretation and extend the aging neuroimaging literature into the cognitive domain of inhibition.

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          “Mini-mental state”

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            The unity and diversity of executive functions and their contributions to complex "Frontal Lobe" tasks: a latent variable analysis.

            This individual differences study examined the separability of three often postulated executive functions-mental set shifting ("Shifting"), information updating and monitoring ("Updating"), and inhibition of prepotent responses ("Inhibition")-and their roles in complex "frontal lobe" or "executive" tasks. One hundred thirty-seven college students performed a set of relatively simple experimental tasks that are considered to predominantly tap each target executive function as well as a set of frequently used executive tasks: the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST), Tower of Hanoi (TOH), random number generation (RNG), operation span, and dual tasking. Confirmatory factor analysis indicated that the three target executive functions are moderately correlated with one another, but are clearly separable. Moreover, structural equation modeling suggested that the three functions contribute differentially to performance on complex executive tasks. Specifically, WCST performance was related most strongly to Shifting, TOH to Inhibition, RNG to Inhibition and Updating, and operation span to Updating. Dual task performance was not related to any of the three target functions. These results suggest that it is important to recognize both the unity and diversity of executive functions and that latent variable analysis is a useful approach to studying the organization and roles of executive functions. Copyright 2000 Academic Press.
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              The processing-speed theory of adult age differences in cognition.

              A theory is proposed to account for some of the age-related differences reported in measures of Type A or fluid cognition. The central hypothesis in the theory is that increased age in adulthood is associated with a decrease in the speed with which many processing operations can be executed and that this reduction in speed leads to impairments in cognitive functioning because of what are termed the limited time mechanism and the simultaneity mechanism. That is, cognitive performance is degraded when processing is slow because relevant operations cannot be successfully executed (limited time) and because the products of early processing may no longer be available when later processing is complete (simultaneity). Several types of evidence, such as the discovery of considerable shared age-related variance across various measures of speed and large attenuation of the age-related influences on cognitive measures after statistical control of measures of speed, are consistent with this theory.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Psychology and Aging
                Psychology and Aging
                American Psychological Association (APA)
                1939-1498
                0882-7974
                2002
                2002
                : 17
                : 1
                : 56-71
                11931287
                © 2002

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