Age-related changes in hemispherical specialization for attentional networks

Maria Casagrande, Francesca Agostini, Francesca Favieri, Giuseppe Forte, Jasmine Giovannoli, Angela Guarino, Andrea Marotta, Fabrizio Doricchi, Diana Martella

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Many cognitive functions face a decline in the healthy elderly. Within the cognitive domains, both attentional processes and executive functions are impaired with aging. Attention includes three attentional networks, i.e., alerting, orienting, and executive control, showing a hemispheric lateralized pattern in adults. This lateralized pattern could play a role in modulating the efficiency of attentional networks. For these reasons, it could be relevant to analyze the age-related change of the hemispheric specialization of attentional networks. This study aims to clarify this aspect with a lateralized version of the Attentional Network Test for Interaction (ANTI)-Fruit. One hundred seventy-one participants took part in this study. They were divided in three age groups: youth (N = 57; range: 20–30); adults (N = 57; range 31–64), and elderly/older people (N = 57; range: 65–87). The results confirmed the previous outcomes on the efficiency and interactions among attentional networks. Moreover, an age-related generalized slowness was evidenced. These findings also support the hypothesis of a hemispheric asymmetry reduction in elderly/older adults.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1115
JournalBrain Sciences
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Aging
  • Alerting
  • Attention
  • Attentional networks
  • Executive control
  • Lateralization
  • Orienting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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