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Cholinergic modulation of visual working memory during aging: a parametric PET study

Ricciardi, Emiliano and Pietrini, Pietro and Schapiro, Mark B. and Rapoport, Stanley I. and Furey, Maura L. Cholinergic modulation of visual working memory during aging: a parametric PET study. Brain Research Bulletin, 79 (5). 322 - 332. ISSN 0361-9230 (2009)

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Age-related differences in the regional recruitment of prefrontal cortex (PFC) during cognitive tasks suggests that aging is associated with functional reorganization. Cholinergic enhancement with physostigmine reduces activity in the {PFC} regions selectively recruited during working memory (WM) and increases activity in visual processing areas, suggesting that augmenting cholinergic function reduces task effort by improving the visual representation of {WM} stimuli. Here, we investigated how cholinergic enhancement influenced {PFC} and visual cortical activity in young and older subjects as {WM} difficulty was altered. Regional cerebral blood flow (rCBF) was measured using H215O-PET in 10 young and 10 older volunteers during a parametrically varied face {WM} task, following an i.v. infusion of saline and physostigmine. Reaction time decreased during physostigmine relative to placebo in both groups. Prefrontal brain regions selectively recruited in each age group that responded differentially to task demands during placebo, had no significant activity during physostigmine. Medial visual processing areas showed task-selective increases in activity during drug in both groups, while lateral regions showed decreased activity in young and increased activity in older participants at longer task delays. These results are consistent with our previous findings, showing that the modulatory role of the cholinergic system persists during aging, and that the effects of cholinergic enhancement are functionally specific rather than anatomically specific. Moreover, the use of the parametric design allowed us to uncover group specific effects in lateral visual processing areas where increasing cholinergic function produced opposite effects on neural activity in the two age groups.

Item Type: Article
Identification Number: 10.1016/j.brainresbull.2009.01.013
Uncontrolled Keywords: Visual cortex
Subjects: R Medicine > RC Internal medicine > RC0321 Neuroscience. Biological psychiatry. Neuropsychiatry
Research Area: Computer Science and Applications
Depositing User: Users 72 not found.
Date Deposited: 02 Dec 2015 15:47
Last Modified: 13 Sep 2016 09:55
URI: http://eprints.imtlucca.it/id/eprint/2960

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