Data_Sheet_1_A Non-linear Relationship Between Selective Attention and Associated ERP Markers Across the Lifespan.docx (48.83 kB)

Data_Sheet_1_A Non-linear Relationship Between Selective Attention and Associated ERP Markers Across the Lifespan.docx

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posted on 28.01.2019 by Eva-Maria Reuter, Solveig Vieluf, Flora Koutsandreou, Lena Hübner, Henning Budde, Ben Godde, Claudia Voelcker-Rehage

The ability to selectively attend to task-relevant information increases throughout childhood and decreases in older age. Here, we intended to investigate these opposing developmental trajectories, to assess whether gains and losses early and late in life are associated with similar or different electrophysiological changes, and to get a better understanding about the development in middle-adulthood. We (re-)analyzed behavioral and electrophysiological data of 211 participants, who performed a colored Flanker task while their Electroencephalography (EEG) was recorded. Participants were subdivided into six groups depending on their age, ranging from 8 to 83 years. We analyzed response speed and accuracy as well as the event replated potential (ERP) components P1 and N1, associated with visual processing and attention, N2 as marker of interference suppression and cognitive control, and P3 as a marker of cognitive updating and stimulus categorization. Response speed and accuracy were low early and later in life, with peak performance in young adults. Similarly, ERP latencies of all components and P1 and N1 amplitudes followed a u-shape pattern with shortest latencies and smallest amplitudes occurring in middle-age. N2 amplitudes were larger in children, and for incongruent stimuli in adults middle-aged and older. P3 amplitudes showed a parietal-to-frontal shift with age. Further, group-wise regression analyses suggested that children’s performance depended on cognitive processing speed, while older adults’ performance depended on cognitive resources. Together these results imply that different mechanisms restrict performance early and late in life and suggest a non-linear relationship between electrophysiological markers and performance in the Flanker task across the lifespan.

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