Healthy aging delays scalp EEG sensitivity to noise in a face discrimination task

Rousselet, G. , Gaspar, C., Pernet, C., Husk, J., Bennett, P. and Sekuler, A. (2010) Healthy aging delays scalp EEG sensitivity to noise in a face discrimination task. Frontiers in Psychology, 1, p. 19. (doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2010.00019)

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We used a single-trial ERP approach to quantify age-related changes in the time-course of noise sensitivity. A total of 62 healthy adults, aged between 19 and 98, performed a non-speeded discrimination task between two faces. Stimulus information was controlled by parametrically manipulating the phase spectrum of these faces. Behavioral 75% correct thresholds increased with age. This result may be explained by lower signal-to-noise ratios in older brains. ERP from each subject were entered into a single-trial general linear regression model to identify variations in neural activity statistically associated with changes in image structure. The fit of the model, indexed by R2, was computed at multiple post-stimulus time points. The time-course of the R2 function showed significantly delayed noise sensitivity in older observers. This age effect is reliable, as demonstrated by test–retest in 24 subjects, and started about 120 ms after stimulus onset. Our analyses suggest also a qualitative change from a young to an older pattern of brain activity at around 47 ± 4 years old.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Pernet, Dr Cyril and Rousselet, Dr Guillaume and Gaspar, Dr Carl
Authors: Rousselet, G., Gaspar, C., Pernet, C., Husk, J., Bennett, P., and Sekuler, A.
Subjects:Q Science > Q Science (General)
H Social Sciences > HA Statistics
B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Psychology
College of Medical Veterinary and Life Sciences > School of Psychology & Neuroscience
Journal Name:Frontiers in Psychology
Publisher:Frontiers Research Foundation
Published Online:19 July 2010
Copyright Holders:Copyright © The authors
First Published:First published in Frontiers in Psychology 1 : 19. This document is protected by copyright and was first published by Frontiers. All rights reserved. It is reproduced with permission.
Publisher Policy:Reproduced in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.

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Project CodeAward NoProject NamePrincipal InvestigatorFunder's NameFunder RefLead Dept
448381Effects of ageing on face and object visual processing speedGuillaume RousseletBritish Academy (BRIT-ACAD)SG-45085Cognitive Neuroimaging & Neuroengineering Technologies
489271A new EEG technique to access object visual processing speed in younger and older adultsGuillaume RousseletEconomic & Social Research Council (ESRC)ES/G023093/1Cognitive Neuroimaging & Neuroengineering Technologies