Overlapping effects of age on associative memory and the anterior hippocampus from middle to older age
2016 (English)In: Behavioural Brain Research, ISSN 0166-4328, E-ISSN 1872-7549, Vol. 317, 350-359 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
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
2016. Vol. 317, 350-359 p.
Medical and Health Sciences
IdentifiersURN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-305754DOI: 10.1016/j.bbr.2016.10.002PubMedID: 27713000OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-305754DiVA: diva2:1039104