Increased Responsiveness to Novelty is Associated with Successful Cognitive Aging

  title={Increased Responsiveness to Novelty is Associated with Successful Cognitive Aging},
  author={Kirk R. Daffner and Katherine K. Ryan and Danielle M. Williams and Andrew E. Budson and Dorene M. Rentz and David A. Wolk and Phillip J. Holcomb},
  journal={Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience},
The animal literature suggests that exposure to more complex, novel environments promotes neurogenesis and cognitive performance in older animals. Studies in humans indicate that participation in intellectually stimulating activities may serve as a buffer against mental decline and help to sustain cognitive abilities. Here, we show that across old adults, increased responsiveness to novel events (as measured by viewing duration and the size of the P3 event-related potential) is strongly linked… 

Cognitive status impacts age-related changes in attention to novel and target events in normal adults.

The results provide strong evidence that the link between engagement by novelty and higher cognitive performance increases with age, and support the notion of there being different patterns of normal cognitive aging and the need to identify the factors that influence them.

Does compensatory neural activity survive old-old age?

Markers of Novelty Processing in Older Adults Are Stable and Reliable

It is concluded that older adults demonstrate substantial stability in ERP and behavioral responses to novel visual stimuli over a 7-week period and may have a characteristic way of processing novelty that appears resistant to transient changes in their environment or internal states, which can be indexed during a single testing session.

Compensatory neural activity distinguishes different patterns of normal cognitive aging

Increased Early Processing of Task-Irrelevant Auditory Stimuli in Older Adults

Several of the study’s findings do not fit the inhibitory-deficit hypothesis of cognitive aging, which may need to be refined or supplemented by alternative accounts.

Effects of exploring a novel environment on memory across the lifespan

Interestingly, children, adolescents and younger adults benefitted from exploring a novel compared to a familiar environment as evidenced by better word recall, while these effects were absent in older adults.

ERP correlates of item recognition memory: Effects of age and performance

Effects of aging on habituation to novelty: an ERP study.

Rodent age‐related impairments in discriminating perceptually similar objects parallel those observed in humans

Findings of robust impairments in object discrimination abilities in the aged rats parallel results from human studies, supporting use of the developed tasks for mechanistic investigation of cortical–hippocampal circuit dysfunction in aging and disease.



Age-related differences in attention to novelty among cognitively high performing adults

Differences in the functional neuroanatomy of inhibitory control across the adult life span.

Activation during "successful inhibition" occurred predominantly in right prefrontal and parietal regions and was more extensive, bilaterally and prefrontally, in the older groups, extending the aging neuroimaging literature into the cognitive domain of inhibition.

Cognition and Aging: A Highly Selective Overview of Event-Related Potential (ERP) Data

  • D. Friedman
  • Psychology
    Journal of clinical and experimental neuropsychology
  • 2003
There are too few ERP age-related investigations of individual differences to determine whether the changes in patterns of ERP responding can be deemed “compensatory” or “inefficient.” It is suggested that, to the extent possible, future electrophysiological investigations of cognitive aging include individual difference measures that will enable the determination of the implication of a given neural pattern in the genesis of agiven, age- related behavioral outcome pattern.

Variable effects of aging on frontal lobe contributions to memory

Successful aging was characterized by preserved left prefrontal and enhanced right prefrontal activation that may have provided compensatory encoding resources.

Regulation of attention to novel stimuli by frontal lobes: an event‐related potential study

The results suggest that the N2-P3 component of the orienting response reflects the activity of a neural system involving frontal networks that dynamically regulates the subsequent allocation of attentional resources to novel stimuli.

Pathophysiology underlying diminished attention to novel events in patients with early AD

The novelty P 3 response is markedly diminished in mild AD, at a time when the target P3 response is preserved, and the disruption of the novelty P2 response predicts diminished attention to novel stimuli and is associated with the apathy exhibited by patients with AD.

Isolating the neural mechanisms of age-related changes in human working memory

Functional MRI was used to investigate age differences in PFC activity during separate WM task components (encoding, maintenance, retrieval) and found greater P FC activity in younger than older adults only in dorsolateral PFC during memory retrieval.

Aging Gracefully: Compensatory Brain Activity in High-Performing Older Adults

The results suggest that low- performing older adults recruited a similar network as young adults but used it inefficiently, whereas high-performing older adults counteracted age-related neural decline through a plastic reorganization of neurocognitive networks.

Changes in brain activity patterns in aging: the novelty oddball.

The elderly were less accurate in their memory for the novel stimuli, and their P3s showed anterior and posterior foci to both targets and novels, which are consistent with decreased ability of the elderly to maintain the templates needed for stimulus categorization.