Age-related variability in cortical activity during language processing


Purpose: The present study investigated the extent of cortical activity during overt picture naming using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI).

Method: Participants comprised 20 healthy, adult participants with ages ranging from 20 to 82 years. While undergoing fMRI, participants completed a picture-naming task consisting of 60 high-frequency nouns.

Results: Linear regression analysis revealed a positive relationship between age and cortical activation intensity in Broca’s and Wernicke’s areas as well as the right-hemisphere homologue of Broca’s area. In contrast, neural activity in the anterior cingulate gyrus, an area thought to be involved in attentional processing, did not increase as a function of age.

Conclusions: These findings suggest age-related increases in cortical activation during simple language tasks, such as picture naming, in brain areas typically associated with language processing.

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Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research


American Speech-Language-Hearing Association

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