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Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, Inc.
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When using fMRI to study age-related cognitive changes, it is important to establish the integrity of the hemodynamic response because, potentially, it can be affected by age and disease. However, there have been few attempts to document such integrity and no attempts using higher cognitive rather than perceptual or motor tasks. We used fMRI with 28 healthy young and older adults on an inhibitory control task. Although older and young adults differed in task performance and activation patterns, they had comparable hemodynamic responses. We conclude that activation during cognitive inhibition, which was predominantly increased in elders, was not due to vascular confounds or specific changes in hemodynamic coupling.