ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202105.0473.v1
Subject: Behavioral Sciences, Behavioral Neuroscience Keywords: inhibitory control; executive function; event-related potentials; electroencephalography; N200; P300; cognitive aging; neural recruitment
Online: 20 May 2021 (10:18:16 CEST)
Aging is accompanied by frontal lobe and non-dominant hemisphere recruitment that supports executive functioning, such as inhibitory control, which is crucial to all cognitive functions. Yet, the spatio-temporal sequence of processing underlying successful inhibition and how it changes with age is understudied. Thus, we assessed N200 (conflict monitoring) and P300 (response inhibition, performance evaluation) event-related potentials (ERPs) in young and healthy older adults during comparably performed successful stop-signal inhibition. We additionally interrogated the continuous spatio-temporal dynamics of N200- and P300-related activation within each group. Young adults had left hemisphere dominant N200, while older adults had overall larger amplitudes and right hemisphere dominance. N200 activation was biphasic in both groups but differed in scalp topography. P300 also differed, with larger right amplitudes in young, but bilateral amplitudes in old, with old larger than young in the left hemisphere. P300 was characterized by an early parieto-occipital peak in both groups, followed by a parietal slow wave only in older adults. A temporally similar but topographically different final wave followed in both groups that showed anterior recruitment in older adults. These findings illuminate differential age-related spatio-temporal recruitment patterns for conflict monitoring and response inhibition that are critically important for understanding age-related compensatory activation.