Working memory in middle-aged males: Age-related brain activation changes and cognitive fatigue effects

Elissa B. Klaassen, Elisabeth A.T. Evers, Renate De Groot, Walter H. Backes, Dick J. Veltman, Jelle Jolles

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    Abstract

    We examined the effects of aging and cognitive fatigue on working memory (WM) related brain activation using functional magnetic resonance imaging. Age-related differences were investigated in 13 young and 16 middle-aged male school teachers. Cognitive fatigue was induced by sustained performance on cognitively demanding tasks (compared to a control condition). Results showed a main effect of age on left dorsolateral prefrontal and superior parietal cortex activation during WM encoding; greater activation was evident in middle-aged than young adults regardless of WM load or fatigue condition. An interaction effect was found in the dorsomedial prefrontal cortex (DMPFC); WM load-dependent activation was elevated in middle-aged compared to young in the control condition, but did not differ in the fatigue condition due to a reduction in activation in middle-aged in contrast to an increase in activation in the young group. These findings demonstrate age-related activation differences and differential effects of fatigue on activation in young and middle-aged adults.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)134-143
    Number of pages10
    JournalBiological Psychology
    Volume96
    Early online date2 Dec 2013
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Feb 2014

    Keywords

    • Aging
    • Working memory
    • Cognitive fatigue
    • Functional magnetic resonance imaging

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