Top-down suppression deficit underlies working memory impairment in normal aging.
In this study, we assess the impact of normal aging on top-down modulation, a cognitive control mechanism that supports both attention and memory by the suppression and enhancement of sensory processing in accordance with task goals. Using fMRI (functional magnetic resonance imaging), we show that healthy older adults demonstrated a prominent deficit in the suppression of cortical activity associated with task-irrelevant representations, whereas enhancement of task-relevant activity was preserved. Moreover, this suppression-specific attention deficit correlated with impaired working memory performance.
Gazzaley, A; Cooney, JW; Rissman, J; D'Esposito, M
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