Recent advances in the cognitive neuroscience of ageing have uncovered important links between age-related neurobiological changes and their role in cognitive and behavioural changes. However, the exact nature of this relationship is still unresolved, and studies of regions such as the medial temporal lobe (MTL) have produced conflicting findings. Here, we report the results from a functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) study of the effect of age on functional specialization in the MTL region during intentional encoding and recognition of objects and positions. We applied a region of interest analysis in native space and corrected for the effects of gender and individual differences in cerebral blood flow. Behavioural results demonstrated that performance on both the object and position tasks declined equally with increasing age. Our fMRI results showed that during the encoding and recognition stage, increasing age was associated with a reduction in functional specialization in a number of MTL regions. These findings are discussed in light of theories of the effects of age on functional specialization in the brain.
|Journal||Journal of neuroscience|
|Publication status||Submitted - 2009|