Prefrontal hyperactivity in older people during motor planning

Marika Berchicci, Giuliana Lucci, Caterina Pesce, Donatella Spinelli, Francesco Di Russo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

66 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The aim of this study was to assess the influence of age-related changes in cortical activity related to the motor preparation involved in simple- and discriminative-reaction tasks. To distinguish between age effects on motor planning and stimulus processing, both movement- and stimulus-locked event related potentials (ERPs) were investigated in 14 younger, 14 middle-aged, and 14 older adults (mean ages 24.4, 49, and 70. years, respectively). The novel results of the present study are the prefrontal over-recruitment observed in older adults in movement-related cortical potentials (MRCPs) and the differential pattern of aging effects observed at behavioral and at electrophysiological level between middle-aged and older adults. Overall, the following results were observed: (i) behavioral results confirmed the well-known slowing of responses in aging people, which were associated with optimal accuracy; (ii) the age-related differences in cortical activity underlying the generation of voluntary movements in response to external stimuli were more pronounced for the motor planning than the stimulus processing stage; (iii) the source and the time-course analysis of the over-recruitment in the older adults indicated tonic involvement of prefrontal areas regardless of task complexity; and (iv) middle-aged adults showed a 'young adult-like' behavioral speed, but an 'older adult-like' overactivation of prefrontal areas. In summary, to reach the same accuracy, older subjects prepared the action with greater anticipation and higher cost, as indexed by the earlier latency onset and larger prefrontal cortical activation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1750-1760
Number of pages11
JournalNeuroImage
Volume62
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Sep 2012

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Evoked Potentials
Young Adult
Costs and Cost Analysis

Keywords

  • Elderly
  • Executive function
  • Frontal hyperactivation
  • Go/No-Go
  • Middle-aged
  • MRCP

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Neurology

Cite this

Prefrontal hyperactivity in older people during motor planning. / Berchicci, Marika; Lucci, Giuliana; Pesce, Caterina; Spinelli, Donatella; Di Russo, Francesco.

In: NeuroImage, Vol. 62, No. 3, 09.2012, p. 1750-1760.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Berchicci, Marika ; Lucci, Giuliana ; Pesce, Caterina ; Spinelli, Donatella ; Di Russo, Francesco. / Prefrontal hyperactivity in older people during motor planning. In: NeuroImage. 2012 ; Vol. 62, No. 3. pp. 1750-1760.
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