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. ... Research Article
Research Article  |   August 01, 2006
Age-Related Variability in Cortical Activity During Language Processing
 
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Julius Fridriksson
    University of South Carolina, Columbia
  • K. Leigh Morrow
    University of South Carolina, Columbia
  • Dana Moser
    University of South Carolina, Columbia
  • Gordon C. Baylis
    University of South Carolina, Columbia
  • Contact author: Julius Fridriksson, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of South Carolina, Columbia, SC 29208. Email: jfridrik@sc.edu
Article Information
Special Populations / Normal Language Processing / Language / Research Articles
Research Article   |   August 01, 2006
Age-Related Variability in Cortical Activity During Language Processing
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2006, Vol. 49, 690-697. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2006/050)
History: Received June 30, 2005 , Revised September 28, 2005 , Accepted November 3, 2005
 
Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, August 2006, Vol. 49, 690-697. doi:10.1044/1092-4388(2006/050)
History: Received June 30, 2005; Revised September 28, 2005; Accepted November 3, 2005
Web of Science® Times Cited: 23

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.

Acknowledgments
This work was supported by National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders Grant No. RO3-005915 to Julius Fridriksson, and Grant No. R01-042047 to Gordon C. Baylis, and by generous support of the Arnold School of Public Health at the Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston. The Brain Imaging Center of Excellence is supported by endowment from the South Carolina Lottery.
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