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Front Hum Neurosci. 2012 Oct 1;6:270. doi: 10.3389/fnhum.2012.00270. eCollection 2012.

Altered negative priming in older subjects: first evidence from behavioral and neural level.

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  • 1Cognitive Neuroscience at the Centre for Psychiatry, Justus Liebig University Giessen, Germany.


The impact of aging on the negative priming (NP) effect has been subject of many studies using behavioral measures. Results are inconsistent and corresponding neural data do not exist. We were interested in, whether or not processing of NP is altered in older in comparison to young adults (YA) on behavioral and neural level. Eighteen young and eighteen older healthy adults performed a location-based NP paradigm during fMRI. YA behaviorally showed a NP effect and NP associated fronto-striatal activation, which is in accordance with the inhibitory model of NP. In older subjects no significant behavioral NP effect and no NP-related activation in predefined brain regions could be found. This is discussed in context of the "loss of efficiency" hypothesis. One possible source for the lack of NP-related activation is a reduction of gray matter (GM) volume in older subjects as shown using voxel based morphometry (VBM).


VBM; aging; fMRI; inhibition; negative priming

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