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Psychol Aging. 2002 Dec;17(4):598-609.

Age, executive function, and social decision making: a dorsolateral prefrontal theory of cognitive aging.

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  • 1Psychology Department, University of Aberdeen, Scotland. s.macpherson@abdn.ac.uk

Abstract

Current neuropsychological models propose that some age-related cognitive changes are due to frontal-lobe deterioration. However, these models have not considered the possible subdivision of the frontal lobes into the dorsolateral and ventromedial regions. This study assessed the age effects on 3 tasks of executive function and working memory, tasks dependent on dorsolateral prefrontal dysfunction; and 3 tasks of emotion and social decision making, tasks dependent on ventromedial prefrontal dysfunction. Age-related differences in performance were found on all tasks dependent on dorsolateral prefrontal dysfunction. In contrast, age-related differences were not found on the majority of the tasks dependent on ventromedial prefrontal dysfunction. The results support a specific dorsolateral prefrontal theory of cognitive changes with age, rather than a global decline in frontal-lobe function.

PMID:
12507357
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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