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Neurobiol Aging. 2015 Jan;36(1):315-22. doi: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2014.08.025. Epub 2014 Aug 27.

Reduction in the retinotopic early visual cortex with normal aging and magnitude of perceptual learning.

Author information

1
Department of Cognitive, Linguistic, and Psychological Sciences, Brown University, Providence, RI, USA; Education Center for Humanities and Social Sciences, School of Humanities and Social Sciences, National Yang Ming University, Taipei City, Taiwan.
2
Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Department of Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Charlestown, MA, USA; Centre for Advanced Research on Logic and Sensibility, The Global Centers of Excellence Program, Keio University, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan.
3
Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Department of Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Charlestown, MA, USA; Department of Radiology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.
4
Department of Psychology, University of California, Riverside, CA, USA.
5
Department of Cognitive, Linguistic, and Psychological Sciences, Brown University, Providence, RI, USA.
6
Department of Cognitive, Linguistic, and Psychological Sciences, Brown University, Providence, RI, USA; Athinoula A. Martinos Center for Biomedical Imaging, Department of Radiology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Charlestown, MA, USA; Department of Radiology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA. Electronic address: yuka_sasaki@brown.edu.

Abstract

Although normal aging is known to reduce cortical structures globally, the effects of aging on local structures and functions of early visual cortex are less understood. Here, using standard retinotopic mapping and magnetic resonance imaging morphologic analyses, we investigated whether aging affects areal size of the early visual cortex, which were retinotopically localized, and whether those morphologic measures were associated with individual performance on visual perceptual learning. First, significant age-associated reduction was found in the areal size of V1, V2, and V3. Second, individual ability of visual perceptual learning was significantly correlated with areal size of V3 in older adults. These results demonstrate that aging changes local structures of the early visual cortex, and the degree of change may be associated with individual visual plasticity.

KEYWORDS:

Aging; Cortical surface size; Early visual area; Perceptual learning; Retinotopic mapping

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
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