P186 - Age differences in neural selectivity during encoding and recognition
1Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Germany; 2Institute of Cognitive Neuroscience, Ruhr-Universität Bochum, Germany; 3Brain Imaging Centre, Research Centre for Natural Sciences, Hungary; 4Faculty of Education and Psychology, Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary
One important factor contributing to age-related memory decline is the loss of distinctiveness with which information is represented in brain activity. This loss in neural selectivity may be driven by neural attenuation (i.e. reduced activation to target stimuli) or neural broadening (i.e. increased activation to non-target stimuli). Few studies have studied the specific patterns underlying neural selectivity, and those focused entirely on encoding, leaving it unknown whether attenuation or broadening drives neural selectivity at recognition.
In a fMRI study, a group of younger and older adults performed an incidental encoding task with face and house images and subsequently completed a surprise old/new recognition memory task. We assessed age differences in neural selectivity at encoding and recognition, the relation of neural selectivity to memory performance, and the underlying pattern (broadening versus attenuation).
We found lower neural selectivity in older compared to younger adults at both encoding and recognition. Neural selectivity at both time points was positively related to memory performance, demonstrating the importance of distinct representations for memory performance. Crucially, while reduced selectivity in older adults was due to neural broadening at encoding, it was driven by neural attenuation at recognition. Furthermore, neural selectivity at encoding and recognition was highly correlated, indicating that one common mechanism may explain interindividual differences in memory performance.
Thus, we demonstrated that age differences in neural selectivity are present, but manifest differently at encoding and recognition, revealing how the utility of the task (i.e. passive viewing versus active recognition) interacts with age-related decline in neural distinctiveness.
P187 - Can you remember what you can do? - The impact of action relationships as bottom-up unitization approach on the associative memory deficit
Universität des Saarlandes, Deutschland
According to dual-process theories, successful recognition memory is supported by familiarity and recollection. While familiarity is preserved in healthy aging, recollection usually declines during aging, leading to an age-related associative memory deficit (AMD). Increasing the contribution of familiarity to associative memory could alleviate the age-related AMD. This can be achieved, for example, by creating encoding conditions that support unitization (i.e., integrating separate stimuli to an entity). The current study uses behavioural and event-related potential (ERP) measures to investigate whether bottom-up unitization induced by action relationships (ARs) between semantically unrelated object pairs can reduce the age-related AMD. Younger (YA) and older adults (OA) studied object pairs that were arranged in a way that an action between the objects was possible (unitized) or not (non-unitized). At test, participants had to distinguish intact from recombined and new object pairs. In both age groups, memory performance benefited from the presence of ARs. We also found the expected age-related AMD with larger age-related differences for associative memory than for item memory. For OA, the ERP correlate of familiarity was only present for intact action-related pairs. For YA, a similar effect appeared for both, intact and recombined action-related pairs, which we interpreted as familiarity effect for abstracted actions. Both age groups showed the ERP correlate of associative recollection for action-related pairs. In conclusion, both age groups’ associative memory benefits from unitization by ARs, but by different mechanisms: YA seem to rely more on associative recollection, while OA rely more on associative familiarity for action-related pairs.
P188 - Childhood maltreatment is associated with changes in mitochondrial bioenergetics in maternal, but not in neonatal immune cells
1Clinical & Biological Psychology, Institute of Psychology and Education, Ulm University, Germany; 2Institute of Statistics, Ulm University, Germany; 3Faculty of Statistics, Technical University of Dortmund, Germany; 4Department of Psychosomatic Medicine and Psychotherapy, University Hospital Ulm, Germany; 5Institute of Psychology, University of Innsbruck, Austria
Background: Childhood maltreatment (CM) causes psychological as well as biological alterations in affected individuals. Mitochondria, intracellular organelles that produce most of the biochemical energy, have recently been implicated in psychobiological health and disease. We previously found that higher mitochondrial respiration in immune cells was associated with increasing CM severity in postpartum women. However, in humans, it is hardly explored whether these CM-related biological alterations can be found intergenerationally. As mitochondria are maternally inherited, this study investigated the associations between maternal CM and mitochondrial bioenergetics (mitochondrial respiration and density) in immune cells of postpartum mothers and in their newborns.
Method: In n = 102 mother-newborn dyads, maternal peripheral blood mononuclear cells and neonatal umbilical cord blood mononuclear cells were collected and cryopreserved shortly after parturition to measure mitochondrial respiration and intracellular mitochondrial density with high-resolution respirometry and spectrophotometric analyses of Citrate synthase activity, respectively. A maternal history of CM was retrospectively assessed with the Childhood Trauma Questionnaire.
Results: Maternal and neonatal mitochondrial bioenergetics were quantitatively comparable and positively correlated. Female newborns showed higher mitochondrial respiration compared to male newborns. Higher maternal maltreatment load was associated with higher mitochondrial respiration and density in mothers, but not in their newborns.
Discussion: This is the first study to report data on mitochondrial bioenergetics of mother-newborn dyads with varying degrees of CM. We found no evidence for an intergenerational effect of maternal CM on mitochondrial bioenergetics in immune cells of their newborns.
P189 - Classification and prediction of cognitive performance differences in older age
1Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine (INM-1), Research Centre Jülich, Jülich, Germany; 2Institute for Anatomy I, Medical Faculty & University Hospital Düsseldorf, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, Germany; 3Institute of Diagnostic and Interventional Radiology, University Hospital Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, Germany
Age-related cognitive decline varies greatly in healthy older adults, which may partly be explained by differences in the functional architecture of the brain. Resting State Functional Connectivity (RSFC) derived graph metrics have been successfully used as diagnostic marker for neurodegenerative diseases. The current study aimed at examining whether RSFC graph metrics may also be useful in classifying and predicting cognitive performance differences in a large sample of healthy older adults using machine learning (ML).
We evaluated ML classification and prediction performance across different pipeline configurations in 1000BRAINS participants (N=813, 372 females, 55-85 years) on graph metrics from resting state fMRI. Composite and domain-specific cognitive scores were derived from Principal Component Analysis (PCA) including 14 cognitive tests (attention, language, executive functions, episodic and working memory) and used as targets for prediction. For classification, a median split was performed to obtain high and low performance groups matched for age, education, and sex (N=518, 232 females). Nodal and network level RSFC graph metrics were used as features. Ten algorithms were assessed in a robust cross-validation scheme.
Classification performance did not exceed 60% balanced accuracy (BAC) for global and domain-specific cognition (MeanBAC: 46.94-58.44%). Prediction performance was equally poor with high mean absolute errors (MAEs ≥ 0.63) and low explained variance (R2 ≤ 0.07) across targets and pipeline configurations (MeanMAE: 0.63-0.84; MeanR-squared: -0.21-0.07).
Current results emphasize limited potential of RSFC graph metrics as sole biomarker for cognitive aging. Findings add to past research showing that establishing brain-behaviour relations may be challenging.
P190 - Dopaminergic and noradrenergic integrity are differentially associated with late-life memory performance
1Center for Lifespan Psychology, Max Planck Institute for Human Development, Berlin, Germany; 2Davis School of Gerontology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, USA; 3Department of Psychology, University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA, USA; 4Max Planck UCL Centre for Computational Psychiatry and Ageing Research, London, England, and Berlin, Germany; 5Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University Clinic Hamburg-Eppendorf, Hamburg, Germany
Cognitive aging is linked to changes in catecholaminergic neuromodulation. However, research disentangling the contribution of different neuromodulatory systems to cognitive decline is scarce.
To investigate the associations of dopaminergic and noradrenergic integrity with late-life cognition, younger and older participants of the Berlin Aging Study-II (n~320) underwent 3T-MRI. The imaging protocol included three scans sensitive for the substantia nigra and locus coeruleus—a Fast-Spin-Echo [FSE] sequence, and a Magnetization-Transfer sequence, acquired once with a dedicated magnetic saturation pulse [MT] and once without, resulting in a proton-density like image [noMT]. Participants moreover completed a comprehensive cognitive battery, including tests of fluid intelligence, episodic and working memory.
Substantia nigra and locus coeruleus MR-intensity ratios, non-invasive proxies for neuronal density, were semi-automatically extracted from FSE, MT, and noMT scans. We integrated substantia nigra and locus coeruleus ratios across imaging modalities to derive latent, multimodal factors expressing dopaminergic and noradrenergic integrity. Similarly, we used a previously established cognitive factor structure to integrate performance across multiple cognitive tasks to retrieve measures of fluid intelligence, episodic and working memory.
Merging neural and cognitive models, we found differential associations of dopaminergic and noradrenergic nuclei to late-life cognition. While locus coeruleus ratios were related to better episodic memory, substantia nigra ratios were linked to working memory performance. Consistent with a largely shared biosynthesis, dopaminergic and noradrenergic integrity were positively associated.
Our findings support the utility of MRI as proxy for catecholaminergic integrity and highlight differential roles of dopaminergic and noradrenergic neuromodulation in late-life cognitive decline.
P191 - Effekte von emotionaler Misshandlung und Vernachlässigung in der Kindheit auf Mustertrennungsfähigkeit und Furchtkonditionierung im Erwachsenenalter
1Professur für Psychotherapie und Systemneurowissenschaften, Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen, Deutschland; 2Bender Institute of Neuroimaging, Justus-Liebig-Universität Gießen
Die weitreichenden Folgen von in der Kindheit erfahrener körperlicher, aber auch emotionaler Misshandlung (EMK) und Vernachlässigung (EVK) auf die psychische Gesundheit konnten in zahlreichen Studien dokumentiert werden und spiegeln sich auch in strukturellen sowie funktionalen neuronalen Veränderungen wieder. Als besonders vulnerabel für solche aversiven Kindheitserfahrungen hat sich der Hippocampus erwiesen. Dies legt auch eine Beeinträchtigung der Mustertrennungsfähigkeit nahe, ein ebendort lokalisierter Prozess der Differenzierung zwischen ähnlichen alten und neuen sensorischen Informationen. Die Mustertrennungsfähigkeit, wiederum, spielt eine zentrale Rolle in mit Furcht verknüpften Lernprozessen, die einen Kernmechanismus in der Ätiologie von Angststörungen darstellen.
Um Effekte von EMK und EVK auf Mustertrennungsfähigkeit und Furchtlernen zu überprüfen, wurden einundsiebzig gesunde Studentinnen basierend auf den Subskalen „emotionale Misshandlung“ und „emotionale Vernachlässigung“ des Childhood Trauma Questionnaire (mittels Mediansplit) in Gruppen mit hoher und niedriger EMK bzw. EVK eingeteilt. Sie alle absolvierten an einem ersten Untersuchungstag eine behaviorale Mnemonic Similarity Task. An zwei weiteren aufeinanderfolgenden Untersuchungstagen wurde zudem ein kontextuelles Furchtkonditionierungsparadigma mit Furchtakquisition und Extinktionslernen (Tag 2) sowie Extinktionsabruf und Furchtrenewal (Tag 3) durchgeführt.
Die Gruppen mit hoher EMK und EVK zeigten keine Defizite bei der behavioral erfassten Mustertrennungsfähigkeit. Nichtsdestotrotz unterschieden sich die hoch-EMK und -EVK Gruppen in ihrer neuronalen Aktivierung während der Furchtkonditionierung von den nicht misshandelten Kontrollen.
Dass bereits bei einer im Durchschnitt nur geringen Ausprägung von EMK und EVK nachhaltige Effekte auf die neuronale Basis zentraler Mechanismen bei Angststörungen beobachtet werden können, unterstreicht die Auswirkung solcher Erfahrungen für die neuronale Entwicklung und psychische Gesundheit.
P192 - Generalizing longitudinal age effects on brain structure – a two-study comparison approach
1Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine (INM-1), Research Centre Jülich, Jülich, Germany; 2Institute for Anatomy I, Medical Faculty & University Hospital Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, Germany; 3University Research Priority Program Dynamics of Healthy Aging, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland; 4C. & O. Vogt Institute for Brain Research, Medical Faculty & University Hospital Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, Germany; 5Division of Neuropsychology, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland; 6these authors contributed equally
Cross-sectional studies indicate age-related decreases in regional volumes of brain structure and cognitive performance. Longitudinal studies, however, are relatively rare and inconsistent regarding their outcomes. Particularly the heterogeneity of methods, sample characteristics and the high inter-individual variability in older adults prevent the deduction of general trends. Therefore, we aimed to compare longitudinal changes in brain structure and its relation to changes in cognitive performance in two large independent samples of healthy older adults. Individual annual percentage changes (APC) of cortical thickness (CT; hemispheres and regions of the Desikan-Killiany Atlas) and cognitive performance (processing speed, concept shifting, verbal fluency and reasoning) were calculated for two independent samples: Longitudinal Healthy Aging Brain (LHAB; University of Zurich, Switzerland; 69.9±4.1 years; 85 females) and 1000BRAINS (Research Center Juelich, Germany; 69.2 ± 4.6 years, 76 females). We estimated 1) cortical thinning separately for the two groups 2) between-sample differences in CT with baseline age, sex, education and Euler number (as surface reconstruction quality measure) as covariates and 3) the relation between APC of CT and cognitive performance. APCs in the two samples were stable or slightly decreased. After correction for major covariates, sample differences were only marginally present. APC in CT did not correlate to APC in cognitive performance in neither of the two samples. Thus, our findings indicate highly similar patterns of age-related changes in CT in two independent samples of older adults. General trends over time might be generalizable across independent samples, assuming same methodology is used and similar sample characteristics are present.
P193 - How the refocusing of attention following interruptions is affected by aging: evidence from posterior alpha and mid-frontal theta oscillations
Leibniz Institut für Arbeitsforchung, Deutschland
Working environments are prone to interruptions. Older adults are more negatively affected by interruptions than younger adults. This is especially challenging in the context of increasing work-life times. Thus, it is important to understand the electrophysiological mechanisms underlying the difference in interruption processing between both younger and older adults.
In a working memory task, participants maintained lateralized information for later recall. This primary task was interrupted by either a low- or high-demanding secondary task in half of the trials. At the end of each trial, a retro-cue indicated one of the initially encoded items to be retrieved from working memory.
Interruptions impaired working memory performance strongly in older compared to younger adults. While, in younger adults, primary task performance differed depending on the cognitive requirements of the interruption task, both tasks affected the elderly similarly.
Mid-frontal theta power was analyzed as correlate of cognitive control processes. Directly after an interruption, theta power was increased in older compared to younger adults. Thus, older adults need more cognitive resources for refocusing on the primary task. Modulations of posterior alpha power following retro-cue onset served as proxy for attentional processing. While older adults showed weaker alpha power suppression following interruptions (compared to no-interruption trials), this difference was less pronounced in younger adults.
In conclusion, aging reduces the ability to re-allocate attention to the interrupted primary task. This as well as a deficit in attentional selection of primary task information contributes to age-related deficits in handling of task interruptions.
P194 - Infantile experience shapes adult spatial performance and associated functional brain circuitry
1Institute of Medical Psychology and Behavioral Neurobiology, University of Tübingen.; 2Laboratory of Neuroscience, Department of Psychology, Instituto de Neurociencias del Principado de Asturias (INEUROPA), University of Oviedo.
Adult behavior is commonly thought to be shaped by early-life experience, but paradoxically, episodes experienced during infancy are forgotten. The hippocampus has an important role in episodic memory and during infancy undergoes a developmental critical period. Whether the memories acquired during this critical period might affect adult behavior is not known.
We trained different groups of rats during their infancy on hippocampal and non-hippocampal tasks and, at the adulthood, we tested their spatial performance. The early hippocampal experiences consisted of four object-place recognition (OPR) tasks that were performed on every other day following the initial test on postnatal day (PD) 18. To provide non-hippocampal experience, the novel object recognition (NOR) task was conducted. At the adulthood testing (PD 80) all rats were subjected to the OPR task, with a 3-hour retention interval, and 90 min after the retrieval test brains were removed for immunocytochemistry analyses of c-Fos.
Rats in adulthood were significantly better at forming persistent spatial memory when subjected to infantile spatial experiences than were control rats with only non-spatial infantile experience. Infantile spatial experience increased c-Fos activity at memory testing during adulthood in prelimbic medial prefrontal cortex, whereas hippocampal activity remained unchanged.
We find that a seemingly insignificant event strongly impacts learning behavior and related brain organisation during adulthood: This means at adulthood, the rats displayed enhanced capabilities to form persisting spatial memories, and this was specifically related to the use of spatial representational systems residing in cortical rather than hippocampal networks.
P195 - Kennen wir uns? Individuierung unvertrauter Gesichter bei 5 Monate alten Säuglingen: Eine FVPS-Oddball-Studie
1Universität Heidelberg; 2Max-Planck-Institut für Kognitions- und Neurowissenschaften, Leipzig; 3University of Milano-Bicocca, Italien; 4University of Lorraine, Frankreich
Von Geburt an unterscheiden Säuglingen das Gesicht der Mutter von anderen Gesichtern (Coulon et al., 2011). Kategorisierung ermöglicht dabei die Diskrimination des Gesichtes von anderen Gesichtern sowie die Generalisierung der Identität über verschiedene Situationen. Wie unbekannte Gesichter gelernt und kategorisiert werden, ist allerdings noch nicht gut erforscht.
Aus diesem Grund untersucht die vorliegende Studie mittels Fast Periodic Visual Stimulation (FPVS) in einem EEG-Oddball-Paradigma, wie 5 Monate alte Säuglinge eine Interaktionsperson (Experiment 1, N = 22) oder fremde Person (Experiment 2, N = 9, Datenerhebung wird fortgesetzt) individuieren. Standard Stimuli wurden mit einer Frequenz von 6 Hz präsentiert. An jeder fünften Position erschien der Oddball (Kategorienwechsel bei 1.2 Hz). Im ersten Experiment wurde das Gesicht einer Zielperson (nach 10-minütiger Interaktion), im zweiten Experiment das einer fremden Person als Oddball oder Standard präsentiert. Analysiert wurden Baseline-korrigierte Amplituden und Z-Werte an okzipital-posterioren Elektroden.
Das Gesicht der Interaktionsperson löste eine starke Kategorisierungsantwort aus, SNR = 1.18, Z = 3.32, unabhängig von der Position (Oddball vs. Standard, p > .05). Eine weniger starke Kategorisierungsreaktion wurde in der Fremdengruppe (Experiment 2) gefunden, SNR = 1.10, Z = 0.74, keine Unterschiede zwischen Oddball- und Standard-Bedingung (p > .05). Die Individuierungsreaktionen der Interaktions- und Fremdengruppe unterschieden sich nicht signifikant (p > .05).
Die Experimente zeigen, dass 5 Monate alte Säuglinge schnell dargebotene Gesichter individuieren können. Es konnte allerdings kein statistisch bedeutsamer Unterschied in der Individuierung abhängig von der Vertrautheit mit dem Gesicht gefunden werden. Zukünftige FPVS-Oddball-Studien könnten diesen Einfluss mit größeren Stichproben erforschen.
P196 - Lifetime environmental enrichment is associated with fornix microstructure in older adults
1German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE), Dresden, Germany; 2German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE) - Rostock/Greifswald, Rostock, Germany; 3Rostock University Medical Centre, Rostock, Germany; 4Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin, Berlin, Germany; 5German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE), Berlin, Germany; 6Klinikum rechts der Isar, Technical University Munich; 7German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE), Bonn, Germany; 8University Hospital Bonn, Bonn, Germany; 9German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE), Goettingen, Germany; 10University Medical Center Goettingen, Goettingen, Germany; 11University of Aveiro, Aveiro, Portugal; 12University of Cologne, Medical Faculty, Cologne, Germany; 13Excellence Cluster on Cellular Stress Responses in Aging-Associated Diseases (CECAD), University of Cologne, Cologne Germany; 14German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE), Magdeburg, Germany; 15Institute of Cognitive Neurology and Dementia Research (IKND), Otto-von-Guericke University, Magdeburg, Germany; 16German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE), Munich, Germany; 17Institute for Stroke and Dementia Research (ISD), University Hospital, LMU Munich, Munich, Germany; 18University Hospital, LMU Munich, Munich, Germany; 19Munich Cluster for Systems Neurology (SyNergy) Munich, Munich, Germany; 20German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases (DZNE), Tuebingen, Germany; 21Section for Dementia Research, Hertie Institute for Clinical Brain Research and Department of Psychiatry and Psychotherapy, University of Tübingen, Tübingen, Germany; 22Department of Neurology, University of Bonn, Bonn, Germany
Background: Episodic memory processes are affected in aging and early Alzheimer’s disease (AD). Maintenance of connectivity in the hippocampal network is therefore essential in older age. This study investigated associations between environmental enrichment (EE), measured through lifetime engagement in multicomponent leisure activities (MLA), and microstructural integrity in memory-related white matter (WM) tracts.
Methods: Cognitively normal participants (age: ≥ 60 years) from the DZNE-DELCODE cohort (DRKS00007966) were included in this study. Microstructural integrity in selected WM tracts was determined using diffusion tensor imaging (DTI). Self-reported frequency of engagement in socio-cultural, physical, and intellectual activities was assessed using the Lifetime of Experiences Questionnaire (LEQ, Valenzuela and Sachdev, 2007). Based on combined responses for youth- and middle-life stages, two groups of participants with higher (n=107) or lower (n=99) lifetime EE were identified. Multiple linear regression models were calculated, comparing EE groups on fractional anisotropy (FA) and mean diffusivity (MD) of the fornix, uncinate fasciculus, and parahippocampal cingulum, with the optic radiation as control region.
Results: Higher lifetime EE was associated with higher FA (β= .134, p= .019) and lower MD (β = -.129, p= .03) in the fornix, adjusting for age, gender, education, intelligence, socioeconomic status, diagnostic group, and scanner site. No significant group effects were observed for the other WM tracts (p’s> .05).
Discussion: Microstructure of the fornix seemed to be most sensitive to experience-dependent plasticity, albeit with a small effect size. Lifetime MLA could represent an enrichment strategy contributing to preservation of hippocampal pathways in older age.
P197 - Multimodal investigation of the association between shift work and the brain in a population-based sample of older adults
1Institute for Anatomy I, Medical Faculty & University Hospital Duesseldorf, Heinrich-Heine-University, 40225 Duesseldorf, Germany; 2Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine (INM-1), Research Centre Juelich, 52428 Juelich, Germany; 3Institute of Urban Public Health, University of Duisburg-Essen, 45122 Essen, Germany; 4Institute for Medical Informatics, Biometry and Epidemiology, University Hospital of Essen, University Duisburg-Essen, 45130 Essen, Germany; 5Institute of Medical Sociology, Medical Faculty, University of Düsseldorf, 40225 Düsseldorf, Germany; 6JARA-BRAIN, Juelich-Aachen Research Alliance, 52427 Juelich, Germany
The extent of cognitive decline in older adults is highly variable and influenced by a multitude of factors, possibly comprising working conditions. Shift work e.g. is a challenge for the human circadian system and has been associated to reduced cognitive performance.
We tested whether shift work is associated with differences in brain structure (cortical thickness) and function (resting-state functional connectivity of seven resting-state networks) as well as cognitive performance (processing speed, attention, working memory and executive functions) in older adults aged between 55 and 85 years of the 1000BRAINS study. These parameters were compared between three groups, who had worked in night shift at time of assessment (PRESENT shift workers, n = 15), prior to assessment, (FORMER shift workers, n = 99) or never (NEVER shift workers, n = 478).
Only the visual network was associated to shift work: In PRESENT shift workers more years of shift were associated with higher segregation of this network, possibly reflecting less communication to other networks. Regarding cognitive performance, PRESENT showed lower processing speed than NEVER shift workers and in FORMER shift workers more years of shift were associated with lower executive functions. We found no consistent associations between shift work, working memory, attention or cortical thickness.
The observed associations showed high uncertainty reflected in broad confidence intervals and pertained to specific cognitive parameters and one functional brain network rather than to the brain as a system. Thus, shift work appears to affect the brain of older adults only to a limited extent.
P198 - Speech perception slopes across the first year of life: Maturation of consonant perception, but not vowel perception, predicts lexical skills at 12 months
1Department of Neuropsychology, Max Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences; 2Department of Education and Psychology, Freie Universität Berlin; 3Clinic for Cognitive Neurology, Medical Faculty, University Leipzig; 4Department of Audiology and Phoniatrics, Charité-Universitätsmedizin Berlin
Introduction: Consonants and vowels differentially contribute to lexical acquisition across the first year of life, with a preferential role of consonants from 8 months. Infants’ differential reliance on consonants versus vowels in word recognition predicts later lexical outcome. This predictive value, however, has not been evaluated for infants’ longitudinal trajectories of consonant and vowel perception. We here aimed to study brain markers that capture perceptual changes before infants show vowel or consonant preferences in word recognition behaviorally.
Method: We examined longitudinally whether infants’ (n= 59) maturational trajectories of vowel and consonant discrimination differentially predict their later lexicon. At 2, 6 and 10 months, we measured infants’ discrimination abilities in a multi-feature paradigm by electrophysiological mismatch responses (MMR) to consonant and vowel deviants. At 12 months, we assessed infants’ lexicon through parental report. Using second-order latent growth models, we tested the maturation slopes of vowel and consonant MMRs as predictors of word production and perception at 12 months, controlling for individual MMR amplitudes.
Results: The consonant MMR slope significantly correlated with word perception and production, whereas the vowel MMR slope was no significant predictor. Note that the consonant MMR slope had additive predictive value beyond the single-time point MMRs.
Discussion: These results confirm a prominent role of consonant discrimination for word learning from early on. Our study points to an earlier predictive value of consonant perception for language development than previously found in behavioral studies and to a particular role of the longitudinal maturation of this skill in lexical acquisition.
P199 - The trajectory of speech perception development: Investigating event-related potential Mismatch Responses to different speech and non-speech features in infants of 2, 6 and 10 months
1Universität Leipzig; 2Charité–Universitätsmedizin Berlin; 3Max-Planck Institute for Human Cognitive and Brain Sciences; 4Freie Universität Berlin
Introduction: Infants rapidly advance in their speech perception, reflected in transitions from immature, positive-going to adult-like, negative-going electrophysiological mismatch responses (MMR) in auditory deviancy detection. Since the infant MMR’s characteristics have been linked to inter-individual differences in language development, it is discussed as a potential predictor of language difficulties. Indeed, studies reported associations with later language difficulties for MMRs to different stimuli across development. However, reliably utilizing the infant MMR as a predictive measure for later language development first requires systematic investigations of the MMR’s maturation depending on stimulus-type.
Method: We here longitudinally explored the maturation of the infant MMR to changes in consonant, vowel, vowel-length, and pitch. MMRs were obtained when infants (n = 59) were 2, 6 and 10 months old. To specifically tackle the different MMR’s maturational trajectories, we applied second-order latent growth curve models.
Results: Results showed positive-going MMRs to all deviant types across all assessment points. However, MMR amplitudes decreased over time towards a negativity in differently shaped curves for each deviant. Pitch and vowel-length MMRs decreased linearly across age; the consonant MMR initially became more negative, then stabilized between 6 and 10 months; while the vowel MMR first increased until 6 months and then declined in a u-shaped trajectory.
Discussion: These results demonstrate that infant speech discrimination matures in different rates and amplitude trajectories across the first year, dependent on the studied feature. We thus argue that the MMR’s stimulus-dependent maturational trajectory needs to be considered when aiming for reliably predicting later language development.
P200 - Videospielkonsum im Jugendalter: Folgen für die kognitive Entwicklung?
1Institut für Medizinische Psychologie und Medizinische Soziologie, Universitätsklinikum Schleswig-Holstein, Christian-Albrechts-Universität Kiel; 2Klinik für Kinder- und Jugendpsychiatrie und Psychotherapie, Zentralinstitut für Seelische Gesundheit, Medizinische Fakultät Mannheim, Universität Heidelberg; 3Institut für Neuropsychologie und Klinische Psychologie, Zentralinstitut für Seelische Gesundheit, Medizinische Fakultät Mannheim, Universität Heidelberg
Einleitung: Videospiele gehören heute zu den beliebtesten Freizeitaktivitäten von Kindern, Jugendlichen und Erwachsenen. In aktuellen Studien konnte ein Zusammenhang von Videospielkonsum und verbesserten kognitiven Fähigkeiten beobachtet werden. Diese Daten beziehen sich allerdings vornehmlich auf Studien mit Erwachsenen, Jugendliche sind bisher selten untersucht. Dies überrascht, ist doch gerade diese Lebensspanne mit vielfältigen psychosozialen, kognitiven und neurobiologische Veränderungen sowie einem Anstieg im Medienkonsum assoziiert. Ziel der aktuellen Untersuchung war es daher herauszufinden, wie sich Videospielen im jugendlichen Alter auf die kognitiven Fähigkeiten auswirkt.
Methodik: Im Rahmen einer großen multizentrischen und europaweiten Längsschnittstudie (IMAGEN) wurden 2076 Jugendliche im Alter von 14 Jahren und 18 Jahren unter anderem neuropsychologisch (CANTAB) getestet. Hieraus wurde der „Rapid Visual Information Processing“ (RVP) Test zur Erfassung der Aufmerksamkeit und Informationsverarbeitung analysiert. Der Videospielkonsum wurde in dieser Zeitspanne mittels eines Fragebogens Videospielkonsum bei n=1100 erfasst.
Ergebnisse: Videospielen mit 18 Jahren korrelierte positiv mit der visuellen Aufnahmefähigkeit und Fähigkeit zur anhaltenden Aufmerksamkeit in diesem Alter (r=0,13, p<0,001). Die Häufigkeit des Videospielkonsum im Alter von 14 und 15 Jahren korrelierte zudem ebenfalls positiv mit der visuellen Informationsverarbeitung im Alter von 18 Jahren (r=0,13, p<0,03). Einen negativen Effekt zeigte hingegen eine vermehrte Spieldauer pro Tag (r=-0,13—0,16, p<0,01-0,03).
Diskussion: Videospiele im jugendlichen Alter scheinen die Entwicklung von visueller Aufnahme- und Konzentrationsfähigkeit begünstigen zu können. Dies scheint jedoch entscheidend von der jeweiligen Spieldauer abhängig zu sein und legt somit bestimmte Grenzeffekte und einen kurvilinearen Zusammenhang zwischen Videospielen und kognitiven Fähigkeiten nahe. Mögliche abzuleitende Folgen und sich daraus ergebende Fragestellungen werden diskutiert.
P201 - Vulnerability of inter-hemispheric functional connectivity in the aging sensorimotor network
1Institute for Anatomy I, Medical Faculty & University Hospital Düsseldorf, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, Düsseldorf, Germany; 2Institute of Neuroscience and Medicine (INM-1), Research Centre Jülich, Jülich, Germany
Brain aging is accompanied by a functional reorganization, such as age-related hemispheric asymmetry reductions. Focusing on older adults, the sensorimotor network (SMN) was shown to be particularly important: Decreases in intra-network functional connectivity (FC) seem to mediate age-related cognitive decline. Whether the SMN would also show age-related asymmetric FC reductions across hemispheres, was investigated in 636 older adults (55-87 years, 324 men, 92% right-handed) from 1000BRAINS.
We calculated edgewise intra-network FC for the right, left and bilateral SMN and inter-network FC with the visual (VN), dorsal-attention (DAN), ventral-attention (VAN), frontoparietal (FPN) or DMN. For each set of connections, we statistically compared the proportions of age-related changing edges between hemispheres.
Age-related intra-network FC decreases within the SMN were more pronounced in the right as compared to the left hemisphere, but most pronounced between hemispheres. Regarding inter-network FC, the SMN showed age-related FC increases with the FPN and DMN and decreases with regions spanning the dorsal stream (i.e. VN, SMN and DAN), the latter again more pronounced within the right hemisphere.
Our results support two major aging theories: First, the right hemi-aging model suggesting right-hemispheric brain parts to decline earlier than left-hemispheric parts. Second, given our predominantly right-handed sample, stronger right-hemispheric FC decreases of the dorsal stream might point at the use-it-or-lose-it principle as the respective left-hemispheric regions may be more constantly involved in eye-hand coordination of right-handed people. Hence, the current results emphasize an inter-hemispherically different vulnerability of the SMN in older adults.