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General cognitive function is substantially heritable across the human life course from adolescence to old age. We investigated the genetic contribution to variation in this important, health- and well-being-related trait in middle-aged and older adults. We conducted a meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies of 31 cohorts (N=53,949) in which the(More)
Emerging evidence from animal studies suggests that suboptimal dopamine (DA) modulation may be associated with increased forgetting of episodic information. Extending these observations, we investigated the influence of DA-relevant genes on forgetting in samples of younger (n = 433, 20-31 years) and older (n = 690, 59-71 years) adults. The effects of single(More)
The brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) plays an important role in activity-dependent synaptic plasticity, which underlies learning and memory. In a sample of 948 younger and older adults, we investigated whether a common Val66Met missense polymorphism (rs6265) in the BDNF gene affects the serial position curve--a fundamental phenomenon of associative(More)
Genetic factors underlie a substantial proportion of individual differences in cognitive functions in humans, including processes related to episodic and working memory. While genetic association studies have proposed several candidate "memory genes," these currently explain only a minor fraction of the phenotypic variance. Here, we performed genome-wide(More)
Aging compromises dopamine transporter (DAT) and receptor mechanisms in the frontostriatal circuitry. In a sample of 1288 younger and older adults, we investigated (i) whether individual differences in genotypes of the DAT gene (i.e., SLC6A3, the DAT variable number of tandem repeat 9/9, 9/10, and 10/10) and in the D2 receptor (DRD2) gene (i.e., the C957T(More)
Trial-to-trial reaction time (RT) variability is consistently higher in children and older adults than in younger adults. Converging evidence also indicates that higher RT variability is (a) associated with lower behavioral performance on complex cognitive tasks, (b) distinguishes patients with neurological deficits from healthy individuals, and also (c)(More)
Intraindividual trial-to-trial reaction time (RT) variability is commonly found to be higher in clinical populations or life periods that are associated with impaired cognition. In the present study, higher within-person trial-to-trial RT variability in a perceptual speed task is related to more forgetting and dedifferentiation of memory functions in older(More)
The neuroanatomical organization that underlies olfactory memory is different from that of other memory types. The present work examines olfactory memory in an elderly population-based sample (Swedish National Study on Aging and Care in Kungsholmen) aged 60-100 years (n = 2280). We used structural equation modeling to investigate whether olfactory memory in(More)
Empathy and vicarious learning of fear are increasingly understood as separate phenomena, but the interaction between the two remains poorly understood. We investigated how social (vicarious) fear learning is affected by empathic appraisals by asking participants to either enhance or decrease their empathic responses to another individual (the(More)
According to a neurocomputational theory of cognitive aging, senescent changes in dopaminergic modulation lead to noisier and less differentiated processing. The authors tested a corollary hypothesis of this theory, according to which genetic predispositions of individual differences in prefrontal dopamine (DA) signaling may affect associations between(More)