The neural basis of individual differences in memory performance in young and older adults: Using the encoding/retrieval flip account as framework
Number of pages
SourceNeurobiology of Learning and Memory, 173, (2020), article 107251
Article / Letter to editor
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SW OZ DCC NRP
Neurobiology of Learning and Memory
SubjectAll institutes and research themes of the Radboud University Medical Center; Neuropsychology and rehabilitation psychology; Radboudumc 1: Alzheimer`s disease DCMN: Donders Center for Medical Neuroscience; Neuro- en revalidatiepsychologie
Aging is associated with cognitive decline, specifically in episodic memory. However, there are large individual differences in the extent of this decline and previous research suggests that these are associated with differences in executive functioning (EF). These EF differences, and associated differences in the encoding and retrieval of episodic information, have been linked to differences in the activation of particular brain regions. The "encoding/retrieval flip" (E/R flip) framework assumes deactivation and activation of specific brain regions during successful encoding and retrieval, respectively. The present study assessed whether this framework can be used to explain EF-based individual differences in memory performance of young and older participants. Young adults (N = 19) and older adults (N = 39) performed an incidental semantic encoding and memory recognition task in an fMRI setting, focusing on brain regions that show the E/R flip. The association between an index of EF and fMRI activity in brain regions showing the E/R flip was tested in each age group. EF predicted E/R flip activity in the older, but not young adults. These findings underscore the importance of individual differences in ageing research and provide empirical evidence for the association between EF and the E/R flip.
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