Event Abstract

Temporal constraints influence age-related task-switch costs. Evidence from fast and slow brain potentials

  • 1 Universitat de les Illes Balears, Spain

Age-related changes in cognitive control correspond with distinct brain event-related potentials (ERPs), with elderly adults showing enhanced target P3 amplitudes over frontal regions, but reduced P2 and P3 amplitudes to informative contextual cues. We explored whether cue- and task-locked neural dynamics are modulated by response timing in a task switching paradigm. Seventy-two healthy elderly people were grouped by their Age and Cognitive control level, estimated from their mean Z scores in several tests of executive function (i.e., Trail Making, Brixton, Stroop, etc). A task-cueing version of the Wisconsing card sorting test was employed to measure switch-specific (local) and switch-unspecific (restart, mixing, global) behavioral costs, as well as several cue- and target-locked ERPs, with a special interest in the P300 component. A 2 x 2 x 3 x 2 mixed ANOVA design with Age (Middle-aged vs Elderly: 55.6 ±2.8 y.o. vs 67.3 ±5.1 y.o.), Cognitive Control (High vs Low), Trial (Switch vs Stay1 vs Stay2) and Response-cue interval (RCI; Short vs Long) was performed for all measures. Higher error rates at the first stay trial mirrored a reduced slow frontal negativity in Elderly vs Middle-aged adults. Larger local switch costs were found for Elderly and Low Control subjects in the long RCI condition. Reduced frontal cue-locked P2 in High Control Elderly adults was found in the short RCI condition. Larger cue-locked P3 were evoked in the long vs short RCI conditions, but this was not affected by Age nor Cognitive Control. We conclude that temporal constraints between motor responses and contextually informative cues may impair task-set preparation and implementation in the elderly.


Conference: 10th International Conference on Cognitive Neuroscience, Bodrum, Turkey, 1 Sep - 5 Sep, 2008.

Presentation Type: Poster Presentation

Topic: Cognitive Aging

Citation: Adrover-Roig D and Barceló F (2008). Temporal constraints influence age-related task-switch costs. Evidence from fast and slow brain potentials. Conference Abstract: 10th International Conference on Cognitive Neuroscience. doi: 10.3389/conf.neuro.09.2009.01.170

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Received: 08 Dec 2008; Published Online: 08 Dec 2008.

* Correspondence: Daniel Adrover-Roig, Universitat de les Illes Balears, Mallorca, Spain, daniel.adrover@uib.es

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