Age-Related Changes in Verbal Working Memory Dynamics | Aging-US



January 1, 2024

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  • Aging-US published this research paper as the cover for Volume 15, Issue 24, entitled, "Age-related alterations in the oscillatory dynamics serving verbal working memory processing" by researchers from the Institute for Human Neuroscience, Boys Town National Research Hospital, Boys Town, NE; College of Medicine, University of Nebraska Medical Center, Omaha, NE; Department of Neurology, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO; Department of Pharmacology and Neuroscience, Creighton University, Omaha, NE. DOI - Corresponding author - Tony W. Wilson - Abstract Working memory (WM) is a foundational cognitive function involving the temporary storage of information. Unfortunately, WM is also one of the most sensitive cognitive functions to the detrimental effects of aging. Expanding the field’s understanding of age-related WM changes is critical to advancing the development of strategies to mitigate age-related WM declines. In the current study, we investigated the neural mechanisms serving WM function in seventy-eight healthy aging adults (range: 20.2–65.2 years) using magnetoencephalography (MEG) and a Sternberg WM task with letter stimuli. Neural activity during the different phases of the WM task (i.e., encoding, maintenance, and retrieval) were imaged using a time-frequency resolved beamformer and whole-brain statistics were performed. We found stronger increases in theta activity and stronger decreases in alpha and beta activity (i.e., more negative relative to baseline) as a function of healthy aging. Specifically, age-related increases in theta activity were detected during the encoding period in the primary visual and left prefrontal cortices. Additionally, alpha and beta oscillations were stronger (i.e., more negative) during both encoding and maintenance in the left prefrontal cortex in older individuals. Finally, alpha and beta oscillations during the retrieval phase were stronger (i.e., more negative) in older participants within the prefrontal, parietal, and temporal cortices. Together, these results indicate that healthy aging strongly modulates the neural oscillatory dynamics serving WM function. Sign up for free Altmetric alerts about this article - Subscribe for free publication alerts from Aging - Keywords - aging, oscillation, magnetoencephalography, MEG, theta, alpha About Aging-US Launched in 2009, Aging-US publishes papers of general interest and biological significance in all fields of aging research and age-related diseases, including cancer—and now, with a special focus on COVID-19 vulnerability as an age-dependent syndrome. Topics in Aging-US go beyond traditional gerontology, including, but not limited to, cellular and molecular biology, human age-related diseases, pathology in model organisms, signal transduction pathways (e.g., p53, sirtuins, and PI-3K/AKT/mTOR, among others), and approaches to modulating these signaling pathways. Please visit our website at​​ and connect with us: SoundCloud - Facebook - X - Instagram - YouTube - LinkedIn - Pinterest - Media Contact 18009220957 MEDIA@IMPACTJOURNALS.COM


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