Temporal dynamics of age-related differences in auditory incidental verbal learning

Cheryl J. Aine, John C. Adair, Janice E. Knoefel, David Hudson, Clifford Qualls, Sanja Kovacevic, Christopher C. Woodruff, Wayne Cobb, Denise Padilla, Roland R. Lee, Julia M. Stephen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Scopus citations


Auditory response profiles for a group of ten healthy young and ten healthy elderly subjects, evoked by implicit memory and delayed verbal recognition tasks, were evaluated to determine if effects of stimulus repetition could be identified in the superior temporal gyrus (STG) and prefrontal cortical regions. We hypothesized that effects of stimulus repetition should occur both early in time and at early levels of the nervous system (STG) followed by later effects in prefrontal regions. Magnetoencephalographic (MEG) responses were recorded using a whole-head MEG system and automated, multi-start analysis methods were applied to the data in order to characterize the temporal response profiles from distributed but focal, cortical regions engaged in memory-related tasks. The findings revealed a main effect of age for early activity (∼50 ms) in STG which appeared to be nonspecific for Old/New words and an Age × Task interaction for late activity (∼100-800 ms) in STG which was specific to Old/New words. Although the behavioral performance measures did not reveal traditional effects of response priming, the MEG measures did reveal a reduction in amplitude with stimulus repetition in young subjects. The elderly did not reveal a reduction in amplitude concomitant with stimulus repetition for either the global attributes of words or for specific Old/New words. Long duration effects of stimulus repetition noted in the present study raise the possibility that results from sensory gating, mismatch negativity and P300 paradigms may represent a continuum of stimulus repetition effects. Two of these paradigms evoke greater enhancement to novel or infrequent stimuli, or rather, greater reduction of amplitude with repetition.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-18
Number of pages18
JournalCognitive Brain Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jun 2005


  • Aging
  • Auditory cortex
  • Brain mapping
  • MEG
  • Mismatch negativity
  • P300
  • Sensory gating
  • Stimulus repetition
  • Verbal memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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