Age differences in callosal contributions to cognitive processes

Brett Fling, Melanie Chapekis, Patricia A. Reuter-Lorenz, Joaquin Anguera, Jin Bo, Jeanne Langan, Robert C. Welsh, Rachael D. Seidler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

24 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In many cases bilateral cortical activation in older adults has been associated with better task performance, suggesting that a greater reliance on interhemispheric interactions aids performance. Interhemispheric communication is primarily mediated via the corpus callosum (CC), however with advancing age the anterior half of the CC undergoes significant atrophy. Here we determine whether there are age differences in the relationship between cross-sectional area of the CC and performance on cognitive tests of psychomotor processing speed and working memory. We found that older adults had significantly smaller callosal area in the anterior and mid-body of the CC than young adults. Furthermore, older adults with larger size in these callosal areas performed better on assessments of working memory and processing speed. Our results indicate that older adults with larger size of the anterior half of the CC exhibit better cognitive function, although their performance was still poorer than young adults with similar CC size. Thus, while the capability for interhemispheric interactions, as inferred from callosal size, may provide performance benefits for older adults, this capacity alone does not assure protection from general performance decline.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)2564-2569
Number of pages6
JournalNeuropsychologia
Volume49
Issue number9
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2011
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Corpus Callosum
Short-Term Memory
Young Adult
Task Performance and Analysis
Cognition
Atrophy
Communication

Keywords

  • Aging
  • Corpus callosum
  • Processing speed
  • Working memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Behavioral Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology

Cite this

Fling, B., Chapekis, M., Reuter-Lorenz, P. A., Anguera, J., Bo, J., Langan, J., ... Seidler, R. D. (2011). Age differences in callosal contributions to cognitive processes. Neuropsychologia, 49(9), 2564-2569. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2011.05.004

Age differences in callosal contributions to cognitive processes. / Fling, Brett; Chapekis, Melanie; Reuter-Lorenz, Patricia A.; Anguera, Joaquin; Bo, Jin; Langan, Jeanne; Welsh, Robert C.; Seidler, Rachael D.

In: Neuropsychologia, Vol. 49, No. 9, 07.2011, p. 2564-2569.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Fling, B, Chapekis, M, Reuter-Lorenz, PA, Anguera, J, Bo, J, Langan, J, Welsh, RC & Seidler, RD 2011, 'Age differences in callosal contributions to cognitive processes', Neuropsychologia, vol. 49, no. 9, pp. 2564-2569. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2011.05.004
Fling B, Chapekis M, Reuter-Lorenz PA, Anguera J, Bo J, Langan J et al. Age differences in callosal contributions to cognitive processes. Neuropsychologia. 2011 Jul;49(9):2564-2569. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neuropsychologia.2011.05.004
Fling, Brett ; Chapekis, Melanie ; Reuter-Lorenz, Patricia A. ; Anguera, Joaquin ; Bo, Jin ; Langan, Jeanne ; Welsh, Robert C. ; Seidler, Rachael D. / Age differences in callosal contributions to cognitive processes. In: Neuropsychologia. 2011 ; Vol. 49, No. 9. pp. 2564-2569.
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