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Biol Psychol. 2014 Feb;96:134-43. doi: 10.1016/j.biopsycho.2013.11.008. Epub 2013 Dec 2.

Working memory in middle-aged males: age-related brain activation changes and cognitive fatigue effects.

Author information

1
School for Mental Health and Neuroscience (MHeNS), Department of Psychiatry and Neuropsychology, Maastricht University, The Netherlands; LEARN! Research Institute, Faculty of Psychology and Education, VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Electronic address: e.b.klaassen@vu.nl.
2
Center for Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Department of Radiology, University of California San Diego (UCSD), San Diego, USA. Electronic address: eevers@ucsd.edu.
3
School for Mental Health and Neuroscience (MHeNS), Department of Psychiatry and Neuropsychology, Maastricht University, The Netherlands; Centre for Learning Sciences and Technologies (CELSTEC), Open University, The Netherlands; LEARN! Research Institute, Faculty of Psychology and Education, VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Electronic address: Renate.deGroot@ou.nl.
4
School for Mental Health and Neuroscience (MHeNS), Department of Psychiatry and Neuropsychology, Maastricht University, The Netherlands; Department of Radiology, Maastricht University Medical Centre, The Netherlands. Electronic address: w.backes@mumc.nl.
5
Department of Psychiatry, VU University Medical Centre, & Neuroscience Campus Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Electronic address: DJ.Veltman@vumc.nl.
6
LEARN! Research Institute, Faculty of Psychology and Education, VU University Amsterdam, The Netherlands. Electronic address: j.jolles@vu.nl.

Abstract

We examined the effects of aging and cognitive fatigue on working memory (WM) related brain activation using functional magnetic resonance imaging. Age-related differences were investigated in 13 young and 16 middle-aged male school teachers. Cognitive fatigue was induced by sustained performance on cognitively demanding tasks (compared to a control condition). Results showed a main effect of age on left dorsolateral prefrontal and superior parietal cortex activation during WM encoding; greater activation was evident in middle-aged than young adults regardless of WM load or fatigue condition. An interaction effect was found in the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (DMPFC); WM load-dependent activation was elevated in middle-aged compared to young in the control condition, but did not differ in the fatigue condition due to a reduction in activation in middle-aged in contrast to an increase in activation in the young group. These findings demonstrate age-related activation differences and differential effects of fatigue on activation in young and middle-aged adults.

KEYWORDS:

Aging; Cognitive fatigue; Functional magnetic resonance imaging; Working memory

PMID:
24309159
DOI:
10.1016/j.biopsycho.2013.11.008
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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