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Overlapping effects of age on associative memory and the anterior hippocampus from middle to older age
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Karolinska Inst, Dept Clin Neurosci, Nobels Vag 9, S-17177 Stockholm, Sweden.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Medicine and Pharmacy, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Surgical Sciences, Radiology.
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
2017 (English)In: Behavioural Brain Research, ISSN 0166-4328, E-ISSN 1872-7549, Vol. 317, 350-359 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The anterior hippocampus has been implicated in associative memory, and along with hippocampal volume, this type of memory declines with age. However, few cross-sectional studies include middle-aged samples, making it unclear at what point these age-related changes occur. In addition, although men and women have been shown to differ in associative memory and rates of age-related hippocampal atrophy, sex-differences in aging are rarely studied. To address these issues, we assessed memory for word-pairs, hippocampal volume and activation during encoding and retrieval, across middle-aged (n=39) and older (n=44) participants, specifically in relation to sex. Older adults showed significantly poorer associative memory compared to middle-aged adults, paralleled by smaller anterior hippocampi and less activation during successful retrieval. The age-by-sex interaction observed in memory performance was also mirrored in the volume and activation of the hippocampus, indicating more pronounced age-effects in men as compared to women. These results indicate a specific role of the anterior hippocampus in verbal associative memory and suggest they both decline between middle-age and older age.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2017. Vol. 317, 350-359 p.
Keyword [en]
Aging, Episodic memory, Event-related activation, fMRI, Sex, Voxel-based morphometry
National Category
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-305754DOI: 10.1016/j.bbr.2016.10.002ISI: 000389086700038PubMedID: 27713000OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-305754DiVA: diva2:1039104
Swedish Research Council, VR 2011-1943
Available from: 2016-10-21 Created: 2016-10-21 Last updated: 2017-01-05Bibliographically approved

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Nordin, KristinLarsson, Elna-MarieSöderlund, Hedvig
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