Age-sensitivity of P3 in high-functioning adults

Institute of Psychology, University of Oslo, P.B. 1094 Blindern, 0317 Oslo, Norway.
Neurobiology of Aging (Impact Factor: 5.01). 11/2005; 26(9):1297-9; discussion 1301-6. DOI: 10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2005.02.018
Source: PubMed


In their interesting paper, Daffner et al. [Daffner KR, Ryan KK, Williams DM, Budson AE, Rentz DM, Scinto LFM, et al. Age-related differences in novelty and target processing among cognitively healthy high performing adults. Neurobiol Aging 2005;26:1283-95] argue that previous studies have found changes in ERP components in response to novel and target stimuli due to two methodological factors: (1) lack of control for differences in level of cognitive status between age groups, and (2) not controlling for a non-specific age-related processing difference for all stimulus types (standards, targets, and novel). The questions raised by Daffner et al. are interesting, but based on existing literature, their conclusion seems premature. In the following, we will present examples from empirical literature as well as re-analyses of some of our own work to illustrate problematic aspects of Daffner et al.'s position.

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    • "However, recent reports established the correlation between sensation seeking and the aversive–withdrawal system, indicating that compared with high sensation seekers, low sensation seekers present higher cautiousness about and are more easily sensitive to the environmental changes (Joseph et al., 2009; Lang et al., 2005; Lissek et al., 2005; Lissek and Powers, 2003). It is well documented that human ability to respond rapidly to novel events is fundamental to survival, which has been linked to individual differences including development (Stige et al., 2007), age (Fjell and Walhovd, 2005; Knight, 1987), gender (Matsubayashi et al., 2008) and personality (Klein et al., 1999; Matsubayashi et al., 2008). "
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    ABSTRACT: Novelty processing is critical for human survival in a rapidly changing environment. However, how and when the orientation attention reflected by novelty processing is modulated by personality elements such as sensation seeking is still opened. The present study investigated the time course of novelty processing in sensation seeking by recording the event-related potentials (ERPs) in a visual novelty oddball task. High and low sensation seekers performed a visual oddball task, in which participants were instructed to detect an inverted triangle (target) and ignore both upright triangle (standard) and unrepeated line drawings of pseudo-objects deviant from participants' long-term memory (novelty). While there were no group differences in ERPs to standard and target stimuli, ERPs to novel stimuli showed a strong modulation by sensation seeking trait. The low sensation seekers, compared with the high sensation seekers, exhibited an increased N2 to novel stimuli at frontal sites. Moreover, the Pd3 component reflecting purely novelty processing was enhanced and less habituated in the high sensation seeking participants. The current findings implicated that low sensation seekers showed sensitivity to novelty detection, whereas high sensation seekers displayed stronger and more sustained novelty appraisal.
    International journal of psychophysiology: official journal of the International Organization of Psychophysiology 02/2010; 76(2):57-63. DOI:10.1016/j.ijpsycho.2010.02.003 · 2.88 Impact Factor
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    • "Daffner et al. is obviously right in arguing that perfect correlations do not exist between these two types of cognitive tests. Thus, yet again inspired by the point argued by Daffner et al., we reanalyzed one of our data sets (n = 129), described in [4] by comparing the high and the average functioning part of the sample based on IQ or neuropsychological scores. "
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    ABSTRACT: In their response to our comment Age-sensitivity of P3 in high-functioning adults [4], Daffner et al. [3] discuss impor-tant issues, which obviously may be related to discrepant findings in the P3-aging literature. We applaud the way they are addressing these, and their thoughts inspire new views and analyses of P3-aging data. In our opinion, especially two issues raised by Daffner et al. deserve further attention, and we are glad to see that the authors discuss two important issues in their response to our comment [4]: (1) Daffner et al. states that ". . . a considerable portion of the variance in performance on neuropsychological tests is not accounted for by estimated IQ", and report a correlation from their own study between AMNART and "performance on neuropsychological tests" of .26 (p < .02). Previous studies tend to use IQ as an index of cognitive function, thus not capturing all the variance in neuropsychological tests. Daffner et al. is obviously right in arguing that perfect correlations do not exist between these two types of cognitive tests. Thus, yet again inspired by the point argued by Daffner et al., we re-analyzed one of our data sets (n = 129), described in [4] by comparing the high and the average functioning part of the sample based on IQ or neuropsychological scores. Using IQ scores of 115 and higher (mean of 122, n = 69) versus 114 and lower (mean of 105, n = 60) to divide the sample, we observed P3a latency–age correlations of .53 versus .61, and P3a amplitude–age correlations of −.47 versus −.50, respectively (all p's < .001). When comparing the high (n = 45) and average part of the sam-ple divided by neuropsychological performance (n = 83), Response to Daffner et al. [3].
    Neurobiology of Aging 10/2005; 26(9):1305-1306. DOI:10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2005.06.011 · 5.01 Impact Factor
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    • "However, in the future, it may be appropriate to more carefully examine this issue. In the visual three-stimulus oddball task reported by Fjell and Walhovd [8] [9], the authors followed the recommendations of Comerchero and Polich [2]. Standard stimuli (0.8 frequency) were blue elliptical shapes. "
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    ABSTRACT: Reply by the current author to the comments made by A. M. Fjell and K. B. Walhovd(see record 2005-13240-007) on the current author's original article (see record 2005-13240-006). In the original article Daffner et al examined age-related differences in novelty and target processing among cognitively high performing adults. Their results indicated that for cognitively high functioning elders there may be no age-related differences specific to the processing of novel and target events as indexed by the P3 component. Fjell and Walhovd felt this finding seemed premature. The current authors feel that Fjell and Walhovd's criticism that Daffner et al "ignor[ed] a vast literature on P3 and aging" is not valid. Additionally, the current author's respond to Fjell and Walhovd's criticisms of the way they interpreted the results of their investigation. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
    Neurobiology of Aging 09/2005; 26(9):1301-1304. DOI:10.1016/j.neurobiolaging.2005.05.026 · 5.01 Impact Factor
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