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Original Item ID
doi: 10.1016/j.brainres.2006.11.068; Shelves: QP376 .B72 Memorial Periodicals; PubMed Central: PMCID 2078239
Prior work by our group and others has implicated the basal ganglia as important in age-related differences in tasks involving motor response control. The present study used structural and functional MRI approaches to analyze this region of interest (ROI) toward better understanding the contributions of structural and functional MRI measures to understanding age-related and task performance-related cognitive differences. Eleven healthy elders were compared with 11 healthy younger adults while they completed the “go” portion of a complex Go/No-go task. Separate ROI's in the bilateral caudate (C) and putamen/globus pallidus (PGp) were studied based upon previous findings of age-related functional MRI differences in basal ganglia for this portion of the task. Structural volumes and functional activation (in percent area under the curve during correct responses) were independently extracted for these ROI's. Results showed that age correlated with ROI volume in bilateral PGp and C, while multiple task performance measures correlated with functional activation in the left PGp. The Go/No-go task measures were also significantly correlated with traditional attention and executive functioning measures. Importantly, fMRI activation and volumes from each ROI were not significantly inter-correlated. These findings suggest that structural and functional MRI make unique contributions to the study of performance changes in aging.