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Brain Lang. 2015 Jan;140:13-23. doi: 10.1016/j.bandl.2014.10.010. Epub 2014 Nov 21.

Marginal neurofunctional changes in high-performing older adults in a verbal fluency task.

Author information

1
Department of Psychology, Université de Montréal, Pavillon Marie-Victorin, 90 ave Vincent-d'Indy, Montréal, Québec H2V-2S9, Canada; Centre de recherche, Institut universitaire de gériatrie de Montréal, 4545 Ch. Queen-Mary, Montréal, Québec H3W-1W4, Canada.
2
Department of Psychology, Université de Montréal, Pavillon Marie-Victorin, 90 ave Vincent-d'Indy, Montréal, Québec H2V-2S9, Canada; Faculty of Medicine, Université de Montréal, pavillon Roger-Gaudry, 2900, boul. Édouard-Montpetit, Montréal, Québec H3T-1J4, Canada.
3
Department of Psychology, Université de Montréal, Pavillon Marie-Victorin, 90 ave Vincent-d'Indy, Montréal, Québec H2V-2S9, Canada; Faculty of Medicine, Université de Montréal, pavillon Roger-Gaudry, 2900, boul. Édouard-Montpetit, Montréal, Québec H3T-1J4, Canada. Electronic address: yves.joanette@umontreal.ca.

Abstract

The maintenance of a high level of performance in aging has often been associated with changes in cerebral activations patterns for various cognitive components. However, relatively few studies have investigated this phenomenon in light of lexical speech production abilities, which have not been systematically found to benefit from neurofunctional reorganization during verbal fluency tasks. In this study, functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to assess overt self-paced semantic and orthographic verbal fluency tasks performed by healthy younger and older adults within a mixed block/event-related fMRI design. Behavioral results indicated similarly high levels of performance between tasks and age groups, while whole brain analysis revealed significant task-related differences in patterns of brain activity, but no significant effect of age or task-by-age interaction across the speech conditions. Only local activity differences were found between age groups. These marginal neurofunctional changes in high-performing older adults are discussed in terms of task demands.

KEYWORDS:

Aging; Communication abilities; Neurofunctional reorganization; Verbal fluency; fMRI

PMID:
25461916
DOI:
10.1016/j.bandl.2014.10.010
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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