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  Upregulation of cognitive control networks in older adults’ speech comprehension

Erb, J., & Obleser, J. (2013). Upregulation of cognitive control networks in older adults’ speech comprehension. Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience, 7: 116. doi:10.3389/fnsys.2013.00116.

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Item Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/11858/00-001M-0000-0014-F503-D Version Permalink: http://hdl.handle.net/21.11116/0000-0003-9E78-5
Genre: Journal Article

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Erb2013fnsys-07-00116.pdf (Publisher version), 2MB
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 Creators:
Erb, Julia1, Author              
Obleser, Jonas1, Author              
Affiliations:
1Max Planck Research Group Auditory Cognition, MPI for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences, Max Planck Society, ou_751545              

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Free keywords: Functional MRI; Aging; Degraded speech; Neural adaptation; Executive functions; Noise-vocoding; Cochlear implant simulation; Temporal envelope
 Abstract: Speech comprehension abilities decline with age and with age-related hearing loss, but it is unclear how this decline expresses in terms of central neural mechanisms. The current study examined neural speech processing in a group of older adults (aged 56–77, n = 16, with varying degrees of sensorineural hearing loss), and compared them to a cohort of young adults (aged 22–31, n = 30, self-reported normal hearing). In a functional MRI experiment, listeners heard and repeated back degraded sentences (4-band vocoded, where the temporal envelope of the acoustic signal is preserved, while the spectral information is substantially degraded). Behaviorally, older adults adapted to degraded speech at the same rate as young listeners, although their overall comprehension of degraded speech was lower. Neurally, both older and young adults relied on the left anterior insula for degraded more than clear speech perception. However, anterior insula engagement in older adults was dependent on hearing acuity. Young adults additionally employed the anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). Interestingly, this age group × degradation interaction was driven by a reduced dynamic range in older adults who displayed elevated levels of ACC activity for both degraded and clear speech, consistent with a persistent upregulation in cognitive control irrespective of task difficulty. For correct speech comprehension, older adults relied on the middle frontal gyrus in addition to a core speech comprehension network recruited by younger adults suggestive of a compensatory mechanism. Taken together, the results indicate that older adults increasingly recruit cognitive control networks, even under optimal listening conditions, at the expense of these systems’ dynamic range.

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Language(s): eng - English
 Dates: 2013-08-092013-12-052013-12-24
 Publication Status: Published online
 Pages: -
 Publishing info: -
 Table of Contents: -
 Rev. Method: Peer
 Identifiers: DOI: 10.3389/fnsys.2013.00116
PMID: 24399939
PMC: PMC3871967
Other: eCollection 2013
 Degree: -

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Title: Frontiers in Systems Neuroscience
  Abbreviation : Front Syst Neurosci
Source Genre: Journal
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Publ. Info: Lausanne, Switzerland : Frontiers Research Foundation
Pages: - Volume / Issue: 7 Sequence Number: 116 Start / End Page: - Identifier: ISSN: 1662-5137
CoNE: https://pure.mpg.de/cone/journals/resource/1662-5137