Format

Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Cereb Cortex. 2012 Jun;22(6):1360-71. doi: 10.1093/cercor/bhr211. Epub 2011 Aug 22.

Word intelligibility and age predict visual cortex activity during word listening.

Author information

  • 1Department of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, SC 29425, USA.

Abstract

The distractibility that older adults experience when listening to speech in challenging conditions has been attributed in part to reduced inhibition of irrelevant information within and across sensory systems. Whereas neuroimaging studies have shown that younger adults readily suppress visual cortex activation when listening to auditory stimuli, it is unclear the extent to which declining inhibition in older adults results in reduced suppression or compensatory engagement of other sensory cortices. The current functional magnetic resonance imaging study examined the effects of age and stimulus intelligibility in a word listening task. Across all participants, auditory cortex was engaged when listening to words. However, increasing age and declining word intelligibility had independent and spatially similar effects: both were associated with increasing engagement of visual cortex. Visual cortex activation was not explained by age-related differences in vascular reactivity but rather auditory and visual cortices were functionally connected across word listening conditions. The nature of this correlation changed with age: younger adults deactivated visual cortex when activating auditory cortex, middle-aged adults showed no relation, and older adults synchronously activated both cortices. These results suggest that age and stimulus integrity are additive modulators of crossmodal suppression and activation.

PMID:
21862447
PMCID:
PMC3357178
DOI:
10.1093/cercor/bhr211
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

0 comments
How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Silverchair Information Systems Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center