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  Cortical thickness is linked to executive functioning in adulthood and aging

Burzynska, A. Z., Nagel, I. E., Preuschhof, C., Gluth, S., Bäckman, L., Li, S.-C., et al. (2012). Cortical thickness is linked to executive functioning in adulthood and aging. Human Brain Mapping, 33(7), 1607-1620. doi:10.1002/hbm.21311.

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 Creators:
Burzynska, Agnieszka Z.1, Author
Nagel, Irene E.2, Author
Preuschhof, Claudia2, Author
Gluth, Sebastian1, Author
Bäckman, Lars1, 3, Author
Li, Shu-Chen1, Author
Lindenberger, Ulman1, Author
Heekeren, Hauke R.1, 2, 4, Author              
Affiliations:
1Center for Lifespan Psychology, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin, Germany, ou_persistent22              
2Department of Education and Psychology, FU Berlin, Germany, ou_persistent22              
3Aging Research Center, Karolinska Institute, Stockholm, Sweden, ou_persistent22              
4MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_634548              

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Free keywords: WCST; Right DLPFC; Prefrontal cortex; Parietal cortex; Fronto-parietal network; Structure-function relationship; Performance level; Lifespan; Healthy aging
 Abstract: Executive functions that are dependent upon the frontal-parietal network decline considerably during the course of normal aging. To delineate neuroanatomical correlates of age-related executive impairment, we investigated the relation between cortical thickness and executive functioning in 73 younger (20–32 years) and 56 older (60–71 years) healthy adults. Executive functioning was assessed using the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST). Cortical thickness was measured at each location of the cortical mantle using surface-based segmentation procedures on high-resolution T1-weighted magnetic resonance images. For regions involved in WCST performance, such as the lateral prefrontal and parietal cortices, we found that thicker cortex was related to higher accuracy. Follow-up ROI-based analyses revealed that these associations were stronger in older than in younger adults. Moreover, among older adults, high and low performers differed in cortical thickness within regions generally linked to WCST performance. Our results indicate that the structural cortical correlates of executive functioning largely overlap with previously identified functional patterns. We conclude that structural preservation of relevant brain regions is associated with higher levels of executive performance in old age, and underscore the need to consider the heterogeneity of brain aging in relation to cognitive functioning.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2010-11-152010-01-102011-02-182011-07-072012-07
 Publication Status: Published in print
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Type: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.1002/hbm.21311
PMID: 21739526
Other: Epub 2011
 Degree: -

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Title: Human Brain Mapping
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: New York : Wiley-Liss
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 33 (7) Sequence Number: - Start / End Page: 1607 - 1620 Identifier: ISSN: 1065-9471
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/954925601686