- Aging affects both perceptual and lexical/semantic components of word stem priming: An event-related fMRI study
- Neurobiology of Learning and Memory
- Volume | Issue number
- 83 | 3
- Pages (from-to)
- Document type
- Faculty of Science (FNWI)
Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Swammerdam Institute for Life Sciences (SILS)
Psychology Research Institute (PsyRes)
In this event-related fMRI study, brain activity patterns were compared in extensive groups of young (N=25) and older (N=38) adults, while they were performing a word stem completion priming task. Based on behavioral findings, we tested the hypothesis that aging affects only the lexical/semantic, but not the perceptual component of word stem priming. To this end, we distinguished between priming-related activity reductions in posterior regions involved in visual processing, and regions associated with lexical/semantic retrieval processes, i.e., left lateral temporal and left prefrontal regions. Both groups revealed significant priming-related response time reductions. However, in accordance with earlier findings, a larger priming effect was found in the group of young participants. In line with previous imaging studies, the groups showed common priming-related activity reductions in the anterior cingulate, and the left inferior prefrontal cortex extending into the anterior portion of the left superior temporal gyrus, and at lower thresholds also in the right occipital lobe. However, when directly comparing the groups, greater priming-related reductions were found for the young group in the left anterior superior temporal gyrus and the right posterior occipital lobe. These findings suggest that, converse to current psychological views, aging affects both perceptual and lexical/semantic components of repetition priming.
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