Our first talk will be given by our very own Dr. Josh Koen (Memory, Aging, and Cognition Lab) in Corbett E378 from 12-1pm. Details about his talk are below. Please note that this first meeting will be held this FRIDAY, January 18th. We will resume our regularly held Monday meetings on January 28th. Free food for attendees will be served from 11:50am.
Neural differentiation and memory performance in young and older adults
Abstract: Healthy aging is associated with decreased neural selectivity (dedifferentiation) in category-selective cortical regions. Neural dedifferentiation is proposed to contribute to age-related cognitive decline. Here, we examined the relationship between neural differentiation and episodic memory. A differentiation index was computed in the lateral occipital complex (LOC) and parahippocampal place area (PPA) while participants encoded object and scene images for a subsequent memory test. Age-related neural dedifferentiation (lower differentiation indices) were observed in the PPA, but not the LOC. Additionally, the PPA differentiation index predicted recognition memory performance for the scanned study items, and also performance on a latent ‘fluency’ factor derived from a neuropsychological test battery. Both of these associations were independent of and not moderated by age, and thus are considered age invariant. These findings suggest that neural differentiation is driven by two independent factors: one associated with age, and the other with cognitive performance.