Increased frontal cortex activation during cognitive task performance is common in aging but remains poorly understood. Here we explored patterns of age-related frontal brain activations under multiple task performance conditions and their relationship to white matter (WM) microstructure. Groups of younger (N = 28) and older (N = 33) participants completed a task-switching paradigm while functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) was performed, and rested while diffusion tensor imaging was performed. Results from fMRI analyses indicated age-related increases in frontal brain activations under conditions of poorer performance in the older group (the nonswitch and switch conditions) and for a contrast in which behavioral performance was equated (older group nonswitch condition vs. younger group switch condition). Within the older adult group, higher frontal activation was associated with poorer behavioral performance under all task conditions. In 2 regions in right frontal cortex, blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) magnitudes were negatively correlated with WM integrity in tracts connecting these structures with other task-relevant frontoparietal and striatal regions. Our results link age-related declines in the efficiency of frontal cortex functioning with lower WM integrity in aging.
|Number of pages||9|
|State||Published - Jan 1 2015|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was supported by the National Institute on Aging of the National Institutes of Health under award number R01AG033036 and the National Science Foundation under award number BCS 0814302. The content is solely the responsibility of the authors and does not necessarily represent the official views of these granting agencies.
© 2013 The Author.
- Task switching
- White matter
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Cognitive Neuroscience
- Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience