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Electrophysiological correlates of adult age differences in attentional control of auditory processing

  • In addition to sensory decline, age-related losses in auditory perception also reflect impairments in attentional modulation of perceptual saliency. Using an attention and intensity-modulated dichotic listening paradigm, we investigated electrophysiological correlates of processing conflicts between attentional focus and perceptual saliency in 25 younger and 26 older adults. Participants were instructed to attend to the right or left ear, and perceptual saliency was manipulated by varying the intensities of both ears. Attentional control demand was higher in conditions when attentional focus and perceptual saliency favored opposing ears than in conditions without such conflicts. Relative to younger adults, older adults modulated their attention less flexibly and were more influenced by perceptual saliency. Our results show, for the first time, that in younger adults a late negativity in the event-related potential (ERP) at fronto-central and parietal electrodes was sensitive to perceptual-attentional conflicts during auditoryIn addition to sensory decline, age-related losses in auditory perception also reflect impairments in attentional modulation of perceptual saliency. Using an attention and intensity-modulated dichotic listening paradigm, we investigated electrophysiological correlates of processing conflicts between attentional focus and perceptual saliency in 25 younger and 26 older adults. Participants were instructed to attend to the right or left ear, and perceptual saliency was manipulated by varying the intensities of both ears. Attentional control demand was higher in conditions when attentional focus and perceptual saliency favored opposing ears than in conditions without such conflicts. Relative to younger adults, older adults modulated their attention less flexibly and were more influenced by perceptual saliency. Our results show, for the first time, that in younger adults a late negativity in the event-related potential (ERP) at fronto-central and parietal electrodes was sensitive to perceptual-attentional conflicts during auditory processing (N450 modulation effect). Crucially, the magnitude of the N450 modulation effect correlated positively with task performance. In line with lower attentional flexibility, the ERP waveforms of older adults showed absence of the late negativity and the modulation effect. This suggests that aging compromises the activation of the frontoparietal attentional network when processing the competing and conflicting auditory information.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author:Susanne Passow, Rene Westerhausen, Kenneth Hugdahl, Isabell WartenburgerORCiDGND, Hauke R. Heekeren, Ulman Lindenberger, Shu-Chen Li
DOI:https://doi.org/10.1093/cercor/bhs306
ISSN:1047-3211 (print)
ISSN:1460-2199 (online)
Pubmed Id:http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed?term=23042734
Parent Title (English):Cerebral cortex
Publisher:Oxford Univ. Press
Place of publication:Cary
Document Type:Article
Language:English
Year of first Publication:2014
Year of Completion:2014
Release Date:2017/03/27
Tag:ERP; aging; attention; auditory perception; conflict monitoring
Volume:24
Issue:1
Pagenumber:12
First Page:249
Last Page:260
Funder:Max Planck International Research Network on Aging (MaxNetAging)
Organizational units:Humanwissenschaftliche Fakultät / Institut für Linguistik / Allgemeine Sprachwissenschaft
Peer Review:Referiert