Inproceedings: an article in a conference proceedings.
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Age differences in the EEG N2 and P3 components during an interference task
Title of the conference
XIIème Colloque International sur le Vieillissement Cognitif, Tours, France
The age-related increase in interference susceptibility has been well documented and largely attributed to a deficit in inhibition. In the present study, event-related potentials were used to investigate EEG correlates of inhibitory processing in an interference "Arrow" task. A specific interest was addressed to theN2 and P3 components that respectively refers to conflict monitoring and to efficiency of inhibition processes (Anguera et al,. 2011). Younger (N=10, Mage=24.6) and older (N=10, Mage=65.5) participants were invited to perform a task consisting in deciding, as fast and accurately as possible, whether an arrow presented on a computer screen points to the left or the right, irrespective of its position on the screen (left, middle or right). Responses were provided by key-presses using the left and right indexes. Three conditions were considered: congruent (arrow pointing to the same direction as that of the side of the screen on which it appears), incongruent (arrow pointing to the opposite direction), and neutral (arrow presented at the center of the screen). A total of 56 trials per conditions were performed. Behaviorally, the results showed that in the incongruent condition the percent of correct responses significantly decreased in both groups. After adjustment with simple RT (additional control task), the increased RTs obtained in the old group were significantly more pronounced in the incongruent condition. With respect to electrophysiological data, results showed that frontal site (Fz), the N2 amplitude was significantly larger for the younger as compared to the older (- 2.55 μV vs. -0.62 μV respectively) whatever the condition. At central site (Cz), the P3 amplitude significantly decreased in the older compared to the younger in the incongruent condition only. Our findings suggest that the increased RTs observed in older participants during the incongruent condition is more specifically linked to late cognitive resources involved in inhibiting prepotent response tendencies rather than associated with earlier stages of treatment dedicated to conflict monitoring.
Aging, interference, inhibition, electroencephalography
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