Age-related alterations in functional connectivity patterns during working memory encoding of emotional items
Number of Authors: 3
2017 (English)In: Neuropsychologia, ISSN 0028-3932, E-ISSN 1873-3514, Vol. 94, 1-12 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Previous findings indicate age-related differences in frontal-amygdala connectivity during emotional processing. However, direct evidence for age differences in brain functional activation and connectivity during emotional processing and concomitant behavioral implications is lacking. In the present study, we examined the impact of aging on the neural signature of selective attention to emotional information during working memory (WM) encoding. Participants completed an emotional WM task in which they were asked to attend to emotional targets and ignore irrelevant distractors. Despite an overall reduction in accuracy for older relative to younger adults, no behavioral age effect was observed as a function of emotional valence. The functional connectivity patterns of left ventrolateral prefrontal cortex showed that younger adults recruited one network for encoding of both positive and negative emotional targets and this network contributed to higher memory accuracy in this cohort. Older adults, on the other hand, engaged two distinct networks for encoding of positive and negative targets. The functional connectivity analysis using left amygdala further demonstrated that older adults recruited one single network during encoding of positive as well as negative targets whereas younger adults recruited this network only for encoding of negative items. The engagement of amygdala functional network also contributed to higher memory performance and faster response times in older adults. Our findings provide novel insights into the differential roles of functional brain networks connected to the medial PFC and amygdala during encoding of emotionally-valenced items with advancing age.
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 94, 1-12 p.
Aging, Emotion, Working memory, Functional connectivity, PLS, Amygdala, fMRI
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:su:diva-140219DOI: 10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2016.11.012ISI: 000392679300001PubMedID: 27865969OAI: oai:DiVA.org:su-140219DiVA: diva2:1079012