Age-related deficits in associative processing are well-documented (e.g., Naveh-Benjamin, 2000) and have been assumed to be the result of a general deficit that affects all types of binding. However, recent behavioral research has indicated that the visual configuration of the information that is presented to older adults influences the degree to which this binding deficit is exhibited by older adults (Overman, Dennis et al, 2019; Overman, Dennis, et al., 2018). The purpose of the present study was to further clarify the neural underpinnings of the associative deficit in aging and to examine whether functional activity at encoding differs with respect to the visual configuration and the type of associative being encoded. Using both univariate and multi-voxel pattern analysis, we found differences in both the magnitude of activation and pattern of neural responses associated with the type of association encoded (item-item and item-context). Specifically, our results suggest that, when controlling for stimuli composition, patterns of activation in sensory and frontal regions within the associative encoding network are able to distinguish between different types of associations. With respect to the MTL, multivariate results suggest that only patterns of activation in the PrC in older, but not younger adults, can distinguish between associations types. These findings extend prior work regarding the neural basis of associative memory in young and older adults, and extends the predictions of the binding of item and context model (BIC; Diana, Yonelinas, Ranganath, 2007) to older adults.
|Original language||English (US)|
|State||Published - Dec 2019|
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Cognitive Neuroscience
- Behavioral Neuroscience