Perceptual and memory inhibition deficits in clinically healthy older adults are associated with region-specific, doubly dissociable patterns of cortical thinning.

Eich, Teal S.; Razlighi, Qolamreza R.; Stern, Yaakov

Converging evidence suggests that the cognitive control processes that enable the inhibition of irrelevant information on a perceptual versus a memorial basis are qualitatively different and are underlain by unique neural systems that may be affected differentially in aging. In the current study, we investigated whether individual differences in performance on these two types of inhibitory processes were attributable to region-specific patterns of cortical thinning. Clinically healthy older adults completed a pair of behavioral memory and perceptual inhibition tasks and then underwent structural brain imaging. We found that worse memory inhibition was associated with reduced cortical thickness in the left Ventral Lateral Prefrontal Cortex (VLPFC), an area that has been functionally associated with memory inhibition, but not in either the right or left Superior Parietal Lobule (SPL), areas that have been functionally associated with perceptual inhibition. On the other hand, while impaired perceptual inhibition was associated with cortical thinning in the right SPL, it was not associated with cortical thickness in either the left VLPFC or SPL. These results suggest a double dissociation between performance on two types of inhibitory control tasks and cortical thinning in specific brain areas, previously shown to be uniquely associated with functional activation of each these two types of cognitive tasks.



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Behavioral Neuroscience

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February 11, 2022