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Cortical thickness is linked to executive functioning in adulthood and aging

Burzynska, Agnieszka Z. and Nagel, Irene E. and Preuschhof, Claudia and Gluth, Sebastian and Bäckman, Lars and Li, Shu-Chen and Lindenberger, Ulman and Heekeren, Hauke R.. (2012) Cortical thickness is linked to executive functioning in adulthood and aging. Human Brain Mapping, 33 (7). pp. 1607-1620.

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Abstract

Executive functions that are dependent upon the frontal-parietal network decline considerably during the course of normal aging. To delineate neuroanatomical correlates of age-related executive impairment, we investigated the relation between cortical thickness and executive functioning in 73 younger (20-32 years) and 56 older (60-71 years) healthy adults. Executive functioning was assessed using the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST). Cortical thickness was measured at each location of the cortical mantle using surface-based segmentation procedures on high-resolution T1-weighted magnetic resonance images. For regions involved in WCST performance, such as the lateral prefrontal and parietal cortices, we found that thicker cortex was related to higher accuracy. Follow-up ROI-based analyses revealed that these associations were stronger in older than in younger adults. Moreover, among older adults, high and low performers differed in cortical thickness within regions generally linked to WCST performance. Our results indicate that the structural cortical correlates of executive functioning largely overlap with previously identified functional patterns. We conclude that structural preservation of relevant brain regions is associated with higher levels of executive performance in old age, and underscore the need to consider the heterogeneity of brain aging in relation to cognitive functioning.
Faculties and Departments:07 Faculty of Psychology > Departement Psychologie > Forschungsbereich Sozial-, Wirtschafts- und Entscheidungspsychologie > Economic Psychology (Rieskamp)
UniBasel Contributors:Gluth, Sebastian
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Publisher:Wiley
ISSN:1065-9471
e-ISSN:1097-0193
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
Language:English
Identification Number:
Last Modified:24 Oct 2017 14:57
Deposited On:15 Jun 2017 10:08

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