Relation of cognitive reserve and task performance to expression of regional covariance networks in an event-related fMRI study of nonverbal memory

Columbia University, New York, New York, United States
NeuroImage (Impact Factor: 6.13). 12/2003; 20(3):1723-33. DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2003.07.032
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Cognitive reserve (CR) has been established as a mechanism that can explain individual differences in the clinical manifestation of neural changes associated with aging or neurodegenerative diseases. CR may represent individual differences in how tasks are processed (i.e., differences in the component processes), or in the underlying neural circuitry (of the component processes). CR may be a function of innate differences or differential life experiences. To investigate to what extent CR can account for individual differences in brain activation and task performance, we used fMRI to image healthy young individuals while performing a nonverbal memory task. We used IQ estimates as a proxy for CR. During both study and test phase of the task, we identified regional covariance patterns whose change in subject expression across two task conditions correlated with performance and CR. Common brain regions in both activation patterns were suggestive of a brain network previously found to underlie overt and covert shifts of spatial attention. After partialing out the influence of task performance variables, this network still showed an association with the CR, i.e., there were reserve-related physiological differences that presumably would persist were there no subject differences in task performance. This suggests that this network may represent a neural correlate of CR.

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    ABSTRACT: Although many epidemiological studies suggest the beneficial effects of higher cognitive reserve (CR) in reducing age-related cognitive decline and dementia risk, the neural basis of CR is poorly understood. To our knowledge, the present study represents the first electrophysiological investigation of the relationship between CR and neural reserve (i.e., neural efficiency and capacity). Specifically, we examined whether CR modulates event-related potentials associated with performance on a verbal recognition memory task with 3 set sizes (1, 4, or 7 letters) in healthy younger and older adults. Neural data showed that as task difficulty increased, the amplitude of the parietal P3b component during the probe phase decreased and its latency increased. Notably, the degree of these neural changes was negatively correlated with CR in both age groups, such that individuals with higher CR showed smaller changes in P3b amplitude and less slowing in P3b latency (i.e., smaller changes in the speed of neural processing) with increasing task difficulty, suggesting greater neural efficiency. These CR-related differences in neural efficiency may underlie reserve against neuropathology and age-related burden. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
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    ABSTRACT: The study of dual task interference has gained increasing attention in the literature for the past 35 years, with six MEDLINE citations in 1979 growing to 351 citations indexed in 2014 and a peak of 454 cited papers in 2013. Increasingly, researchers are examining dual task cost in individuals with pathology, including those with neurodegenerative diseases. While the influence of these papers has extended from the laboratory to the clinic, the field has evolved without clear definitions of commonly used terms and with extreme variations in experimental procedures. As a result, it is difficult to examine the interference literature as a single body of work. In this paper we present a new taxonomy for classifying cognitive-motor and motor-motor interference within the study of dual task behaviors that connects traditional concepts of learning and principles of motor control with current issues of multitasking analysis. As a first step in the process we provide an operational definition of dual task, distinguishing it from a complex single task. We present this new taxonomy, inclusive of both cognitive and motor modalities, as a working model; one that we hope will generate discussion and create a framework from which one can view previous studies and develop questions of interest.
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