Electrophysiological advances on multiple object processing in aging

Veronica Mazza, Debora Brignani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


EEG research conducted in the past 5 years on multiple object processing has begun to define how the aging brain tracks the numerosity of the objects presented in the visual field for different goals. We review the recent EEG findings in healthy older individuals (age range: 65-75 years approximately) on perceptual, attentional and memory mechanisms-reflected in the N1, N2pc and contralateral delayed activity (CDA) components of the EEG, respectively-during the execution of a variety of cognitive tasks requiring simultaneous processing of multiple elements. The findings point to multiple loci of neural changes in multi-object analysis, and suggest the involvement of early perceptual mechanisms, attentive individuation and working memory (WM) operations in the neural and cognitive modification due to aging. However, the findings do not simply reflect early impairments with a cascade effect over subsequent stages of stimulus processing, but in fact highlight interesting dissociations between the effects occurring at the various stages of stimulus processing. Finally, the results on older adults indicate the occurrence of neural overactivation in association to good levels of performance in easy perceptual contexts, thus providing some hints on the existence of compensatory phenomena that are associated with the functioning of early perceptual mechanisms.

Original languageEnglish
Article number46
JournalFrontiers in Aging Neuroscience
Issue numberMAR
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2 2016


  • Aging
  • Attention
  • Contralateral delayed activity (CDA)
  • Eeg
  • Enumeration
  • Multiple object processing
  • N2pc
  • Working memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Ageing
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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