William J. Tays

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Event-related potentials were collected as older and younger adults responded to error feedback in an adaptation of the Groton Maze Learning Test, an age-sensitive measure of spatial learning and executive skills expected to maximally involve anterior cingulate cortex (ACC). Older adults made more errors and produced smaller feedback-related negativities(More)
There is growing consensus that a decline in attentional control is a core aspect of cognitive aging. We used event-related potentials to examine the time course of attentional control in older and younger adults as they attempted to resolve familiarity-based and response-based interference during a working memory task. Accuracy was high for both groups but(More)
Strategic repetition of verbal stimuli can effectively produce proactive interference (PI) effects in the Sternberg working memory task. Unique fronto-cortical activation to PI-eliciting letter probes has been interpreted as reflecting brain responses to PI. However, the use of only a small set of stimuli (e.g., letters and digits) requires constant(More)
Bilinguals and musicians exhibit behavioral advantages on tasks with high demands on executive functioning, particularly inhibitory control, but the brain mechanisms supporting these differences are unclear. Of key interest is whether these forms of experience influence cognition through similar or distinct information processing mechanisms. Here, we(More)
There is growing evidence that centrally modulated autonomic regulation can influence performance on complex cognitive tasks but the specificity of these influences and the effects of age-related decline in these systems have not been determined. We recorded pre-task levels of respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA; an index of phasic vagal cardiac control) and(More)
Our goal was to investigate age differences in the role played by cardiovascular regulation in response control. We questioned whether pre-test respiratory sinus arrhythmia (RSA; an index of phasic vagal cardiac control) and/or rate pressure product (RPP; a measure of cardiac workload) were associated with error rate and/or error-related electrocortical(More)
V. S. Ramachandran (1998) has suggested that the right hemisphere, which tends to be specialized for the analysis of global-level information, serves as an anomaly detector. Its role is to judge whether a given percept is possible and whether there are elements of that percept that seem incongruent with the other elements. In contrast, the left hemisphere(More)
Previous research with both brain-damaged and neurologically intact populations has demonstrated that the right cerebral hemisphere (RH) is superior to the left cerebral hemisphere (LH) at detecting anomalies (or incongruities) in objects (Ramachandran, 1995; Smith, Tays, Dixon, & Bulman-Fleming, 2002). The current research assesses whether the RH advantage(More)
Imaging data has identified frontal cortical activation in older adults during simple recognition tasks that relates positively with performance and could, therefore, be considered compensatory. However, in a previous electrophysiological study involving a Sternberg task with proactive interference manipulations, we observed a frontal positive scalp(More)
Recent research has indicated that music practice can influence cognitive processing across the lifespan. Although extensive musical experience may have a mitigating effect on cognitive decline in older adults, the nature of changes to brain functions underlying performance benefits remains underexplored. The present study was designed to investigate the(More)