Nov 15, 2018

Neural distinctiveness declines with age in auditory cortex and is associated with auditory GABA levels.

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Poortata LalwaniThad A Polk

Abstract

Neural activation patterns in the ventral visual cortex in response to different categories of visual stimuli (e.g., faces vs. houses) are less selective, or distinctive, in older adults than in younger adults, a phenomenon known as age-related neural dedifferentiation. Previous work in animals suggests that age-related reductions of the inhibitory neurotransmitter, gamma aminobutyric acid (GABA), may play a role in this age-related decline in neural distinctiveness. In this study, we investigated whether neural dedifferentiation extends to auditory cortex and whether individual differences in GABA are associated with individual differences in neural distinctiveness in humans. 20 healthy young adults (ages 18-29) and 23 healthy older adults (over 65) completed a functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) scan, during which neural activity was estimated while they listened to foreign speech and music. GABA levels in the auditory, ventrovisual and sensorimotor cortex were estimated in the same individuals in a separate magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS) scan. Relative to the younger adults, the older adults exhibited both (1) less distinct activation patterns for music vs. speech stimuli and (2) lower GABA levels in the audi...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Study
Patterns
Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Neuroma
Dedifferentiation
Sensorimotor Cortex
Anaplasia
Neurotransmitters
FMRI
Entire Brodmann Areas 17 (Striate Cortex),18 (Parastriate Cortex) and 19 (Peristriate Cortex) of Occipital Lobe

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