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Aging reduces neural specialization in ventral visual cortex.

Authors
  • Park, Denise C
  • Polk, Thad A
  • Park, Rob
  • Minear, Meredith
  • Savage, Anna
  • Smith, Mason R
Type
Published Article
Journal
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Publication Date
Aug 31, 2004
Volume
101
Issue
35
Pages
13091–13095
Identifiers
PMID: 15322270
Source
Medline
License
Unknown

Abstract

The present study investigated whether neural structures become less functionally differentiated and specialized with age. We studied ventral visual cortex, an area of the brain that responds selectively to visual categories (faces, places, and words) in young adults, and that shows little atrophy with age. Functional MRI was used to estimate neural activity in this cortical area, while young and old adults viewed faces, houses, pseudowords, and chairs. The results demonstrated significantly less neural specialization for these stimulus categories in older adults across a range of analyses.

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