Context processing in older adults

Evidence for a theory relating cognitive control to neurobiology in healthy aging

Todd S. Braver, Deanna M. Barch, Beth K Rush, Cameron S. Carter, Jonathan D. Cohen, Jeffrey A. Kaye, Jeri S. Janowsky, Stephan F. Taylor, Jerome A. Yesavage, Martin S. Mumenthaler, William J. Jagust, Bruce R. Reed

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

A theory of cognitive aging is presented in which healthy older adults are hypothesized to suffer from disturbances in the processing of context that impair cognitive control function across multiple domains, including attention, inhibition, and working memory. These cognitive disturbances are postulated to be directly related to age-related decline in the function of the dopamine (DA) system in the prefrontal cortex (PFC). A connectionist computational model is described that implements specific mechanisms for the role of DA and PFC in context processing. The behavioral predictions of the model were tested in a large sample of older (N = 81) and young (N = 175) adults performing variants of a simple cognitive control task that placed differential demands on context processing. Older adults exhibited both performance decrements and, counterintuitively, performance improvements that are in close agreement with model predictions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)746-763
Number of pages18
JournalJournal of Experimental Psychology: General
Volume130
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Dec 2001
Externally publishedYes

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Neurobiology
Prefrontal Cortex
Dopamine
Neural Networks (Computer)
Short-Term Memory
Cognition
Cognitive Control
Prediction
Cognitive Aging
Inhibition (Psychology)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Psychology(all)
  • Developmental Neuroscience

Cite this

Context processing in older adults : Evidence for a theory relating cognitive control to neurobiology in healthy aging. / Braver, Todd S.; Barch, Deanna M.; Rush, Beth K; Carter, Cameron S.; Cohen, Jonathan D.; Kaye, Jeffrey A.; Janowsky, Jeri S.; Taylor, Stephan F.; Yesavage, Jerome A.; Mumenthaler, Martin S.; Jagust, William J.; Reed, Bruce R.

In: Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, Vol. 130, No. 4, 12.2001, p. 746-763.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Braver, TS, Barch, DM, Rush, BK, Carter, CS, Cohen, JD, Kaye, JA, Janowsky, JS, Taylor, SF, Yesavage, JA, Mumenthaler, MS, Jagust, WJ & Reed, BR 2001, 'Context processing in older adults: Evidence for a theory relating cognitive control to neurobiology in healthy aging', Journal of Experimental Psychology: General, vol. 130, no. 4, pp. 746-763. https://doi.org/10.1037//0096-3445.130.4.746
Braver, Todd S. ; Barch, Deanna M. ; Rush, Beth K ; Carter, Cameron S. ; Cohen, Jonathan D. ; Kaye, Jeffrey A. ; Janowsky, Jeri S. ; Taylor, Stephan F. ; Yesavage, Jerome A. ; Mumenthaler, Martin S. ; Jagust, William J. ; Reed, Bruce R. / Context processing in older adults : Evidence for a theory relating cognitive control to neurobiology in healthy aging. In: Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. 2001 ; Vol. 130, No. 4. pp. 746-763.
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