Format

Send to

Choose Destination
Neuroscience. 2018 Feb 10;371:75-95. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroscience.2017.11.042. Epub 2017 Dec 2.

Same Same But Different: Processing Words in the Aging Brain.

Author information

1
Department of Education and Psychology, Freie Universität Berlin, Habelschwerdter Allee 45, 14195 Berlin, Germany; Dahlem Institute for Neuroimaging of Emotion, Freie Universität Berlin, Habelschwerdter Allee 45, 14195 Berlin, Germany; Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, Freie Universität Berlin, Habelschwerdter Allee 45, 14195 Berlin, Germany. Electronic address: eva.froehlich@fu-berlin.de.
2
Department of Education and Psychology, Freie Universität Berlin, Habelschwerdter Allee 45, 14195 Berlin, Germany; Dahlem Institute for Neuroimaging of Emotion, Freie Universität Berlin, Habelschwerdter Allee 45, 14195 Berlin, Germany; Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, Freie Universität Berlin, Habelschwerdter Allee 45, 14195 Berlin, Germany. Electronic address: johanna.liebig@fu-berlin.de.
3
Department of Education and Psychology, Freie Universität Berlin, Habelschwerdter Allee 45, 14195 Berlin, Germany; Dahlem Institute for Neuroimaging of Emotion, Freie Universität Berlin, Habelschwerdter Allee 45, 14195 Berlin, Germany; Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, Freie Universität Berlin, Habelschwerdter Allee 45, 14195 Berlin, Germany. Electronic address: carmen.morawetz@fu-berlin.de.
4
Aix-Marseille Université, CNRS, LPC, 3, place Victor Hugo, 13331 Marseille Cedex 1, France. Electronic address: johannes.ziegler@univ-amu.fr.
5
Centre for Cognitive Neuroscience, Universität Salzburg, Hellbrunnerstr. 34, 5020 Salzburg, Austria. Electronic address: mario.braun@sbg.ac.at.
6
Department of Education and Psychology, Freie Universität Berlin, Habelschwerdter Allee 45, 14195 Berlin, Germany; Dahlem Institute for Neuroimaging of Emotion, Freie Universität Berlin, Habelschwerdter Allee 45, 14195 Berlin, Germany; Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, Freie Universität Berlin, Habelschwerdter Allee 45, 14195 Berlin, Germany. Electronic address: hauke.heekeren@fu-berlin.de.
7
Department of Education and Psychology, Freie Universität Berlin, Habelschwerdter Allee 45, 14195 Berlin, Germany; Dahlem Institute for Neuroimaging of Emotion, Freie Universität Berlin, Habelschwerdter Allee 45, 14195 Berlin, Germany; Center for Cognitive Neuroscience, Freie Universität Berlin, Habelschwerdter Allee 45, 14195 Berlin, Germany. Electronic address: ajacobs@zedat.fu-berlin.de.

Abstract

Reading is not only one of the most appreciated leisure activities of the elderly but it clearly helps older people to maintain functional independence, which has a significant impact on life quality. Yet, very little is known about how aging affects the neural circuits of the processes that underlie skilled reading. Therefore, the aim of the present study was to systematically investigate the neural correlates of sublexical, orthographic, phonological and lexico-semantic processing in the aging brain. Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, we recorded brain activity of younger (N = 20; 22-35 years) and older (N = 38; 65-76 years) adults during letter identification, lexical decision, phonological decision and semantic categorization. Older and younger adults recruited an identical set of reading-related brain regions suggesting that the general architecture of the reading network is preserved across the lifespan. However, we also observed age-related differences in brain activity in the subcomponents of the reading network. Age-related differences were most prominent during phonological and orthographic processing possibly due to a failure of older adults to inhibit non-optimal reading strategies. Neural effects of aging were also observed outside reading-related circuits, especially in frontal midline regions. These regions might be involved because of their important role in memory, attention and executive control functions and their potential role in resting-state networks.

KEYWORDS:

aging; lexical decision; lexico-semantic processing; neural correlates; phonological processing; sublexical processing

Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center