Attentional ERPs distinguish aging and early Alzheimer's dementia

Colin T. Lockwood, William Vaughn, Charles J. Duffy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


The early detection of Alzheimer's disease requires our distinguishing it from cognitive aging. Here, we test whether spatial attentional changes might support that distinction. We engaged young normal (YN), older normal (ON), and patients with early Alzheimer's dementia (EAD) in an attentionally cued, self-movement heading discrimination task while we recorded push-button response times and event related potentials. YNs and ONs show the behavioral effects of attentional shifts from the cue to the target, whereas EAD patients did not (p < 0.001). YNs and ONs also show the shifting lateralization of a newly described attentional event related potentials component, whereas EAD patients did not (p < 0.001). Our findings suggest that spatial inattention in EAD patients may contribute to heading direction processing impairments that distinguish them from ONs and undermine their navigational capacity and driving safety.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)51-58
Number of pages8
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2018


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Aging
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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