Healthy ageing delays the neural processing of face features relevant for behaviour by 40 ms

Jaworska, K. , Yi, F., Ince, R. A.A. , Van Rijsbergen, N. J. , Schyns, P. G. and Rousselet, G. A. (2020) Healthy ageing delays the neural processing of face features relevant for behaviour by 40 ms. Human Brain Mapping, 41(5), pp. 1212-1225. (doi: 10.1002/hbm.24869) (PMID:31782861) (PMCID:PMC7268067)

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Fast and accurate face processing is critical for everyday social interactions, but it declines and becomes delayed with age, as measured by both neural and behavioral responses. Here, we addressed the critical challenge of understanding how aging changes neural information processing mechanisms to delay behavior. Young (20–36 years) and older (60–86 years) adults performed the basic social interaction task of detecting a face versus noise while we recorded their electroencephalogram (EEG). In each participant, using a new information theoretic framework we reconstructed the features supporting face detection behavior, and also where, when and how EEG activity represents them. We found that occipital-temporal pathway activity dynamically represents the eyes of the face images for behavior ~170 ms poststimulus, with a 40 ms delay in older adults that underlies their 200 ms behavioral deficit of slower reaction times. Our results therefore demonstrate how aging can change neural information processing mechanisms that underlie behavioral slow down.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Jaworska, Dr Katarzyna and Yi, Fei and Van Rijsbergen, Dr Nicola and Rousselet, Dr Guillaume and Schyns, Professor Philippe and Ince, Dr Robin
Authors: Jaworska, K., Yi, F., Ince, R. A.A., Van Rijsbergen, N. J., Schyns, P. G., and Rousselet, G. A.
College/School:College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Psychology & Neuroscience
Journal Name:Human Brain Mapping
ISSN (Online):1097-0193
Published Online:29 November 2019
Copyright Holders:Copyright © 2019 The Authors
First Published:First published in Human Brain Mapping 41(5): 1212-1225
Publisher Policy:Reproduced under a Creative Commons License
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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
166952Understanding age-related changes in processing facial emotionPhilippe SchynsBiotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC)BB/J018929/1NP - Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging (CCNi)
172046Visual Commonsense for Scene UnderstandingPhilippe SchynsEngineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC)EP/N019261/1NP - Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging (CCNi)
172413Brain Algorithmics: Reverse Engineering Dynamic Information Processing Networks from MEG time seriesPhilippe SchynsWellcome Trust (WELLCOTR)107802/Z/15/ZNP - Centre for Cognitive Neuroimaging (CCNi)