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The Cognitive Neuroscience of Working
Memory$
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Naoyuki Osaka, Robert H. Logie, and Mark D'Esposito

Print publication date: 2007

Print ISBN-13: 9780198570394

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198570394.001.0001

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A neural efficiency hypothesis of age-related changes in human working memory performance

A neural efficiency hypothesis of age-related changes in human working memory performance

Chapter:
(p.281) 17 A neural efficiency hypothesis of age-related changes in human working memory performance
Source:
The Cognitive Neuroscience of Working Memory
Author(s):

Bart Rypma

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780198570394.003.0017

This chapter examines the changes in executive functions with age, drawing on behavioural and brain imaging data. It focuses on response selection as an important executive function and concludes that this function deteriorates with age because of increased noise in the neural signals, making it difficult for older adults to decide between alternative responses. It suggests that a major change in older adults is a reduction in neural efficiency, particularly in the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), which contributes to the deterioration in executive function with age. This is a conclusion that is consistent with behavioural data demonstrating the slowing of cognitive processing in older adults.

Keywords:   response selection, memory performance, cognitive processing, brain imaging, dorsolateral prefrontal cortex, neural efficiency

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