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Wykład prof. Michele Diaz z Pennsylvania State University, USA

Wykład prof. Michele Diaz z Pennsylvania State University, USA

Zapraszamy na otwarte spotkanie Laboratorium Psychologii Języka i Dwujęzyczności

Podczas spotkania prof. Michele Diaz z Pennsylvania State University w USA wygłosi wykład pt.: "The influence of Executive Function on Language Production in older and younger adults".

Spotkanie odbędzie sie 29 czerwca (piątek) o godz. 15.00 w sali 2.15. 

Więcej o prof. Diaz i temacie spotkania poniżej.

Michele Diaz, Ph.D., is the Director of Human Imaging at the Social, Life, and Engineering Sciences, Imaging Center, and an Associate Professor of Psychology at the Pennsylvania State University. Prior to coming to Penn State, Michele was the Assistant and then Associate Director of the Brain Imaging and Analysis Center (BIAC) and an Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at Duke University. Her research focuses on the neural representation of language and how this representation changes with age. She has also worked on the Biomedical Informatics Research Network (BIRN) for 10 years focusing on best practices in neuroimaging and multi-site experiments. She combines behavioral, neuropsychological, and neuroimaging measures to examine the relations between cognition and the brain. Michele lives in State College, with her two favorite people (husband, Wilson and son, Nico), and the best dog in the world, sweet Sadie.

The influence of Executive Function on Language Production in older and younger adults
Although decline in cognitive function is often observed with aging, language functions show a pattern of both impaired and spared performance. Semantic processes are well maintained throughout adulthood with older adults having larger and more varied vocabularies and knowledge stores. However, older adults often complain about frustrating and increasingly frequent problems with language production, such as increased slips of the tongue, increased tip-of-the-tongue incidences, and increased pauses during speech. This asymmetric pattern suggests a fundamental difference in the cognitive and neural organization of these language abilities, as suggested by the Transmission Deficit Theory. However, speaking and other language abilities also interact with general cognitive abilities such as inhibition, planning, and working memory. Indeed, a prominent view in cognitive aging, the Inhibition Deficit Hypothesis, suggests that older adults suffer from declines in inhibition. In this talk, I will discuss our recent work examining the interactions between speech production and executive function abilities using a phonological Go-No Go, picture naming task. Twenty younger and twenty older, community dwelling adults completed behavioral and functional MRI tasks in which we manipulated the naming (language production) and inhibition (withholding naming) task demands. Behaviorally, we found a main effect of Condition in which all adults named pictures slower as task demands increased and a main effect of Age Group in which older adults named pictures more slowly than younger adults. Moreover, we found a significant interaction of Condition and Age Group in which older adults named more slowly than younger adults but only in the more difficult naming conditions. Our neuroimaging results showed that all adults elicited significant increases in activation as a function of naming difficulty in both language-related regions such as bilateral inferior frontal gyri and insula, as well as cognitive control regions such as right superior and middle frontal gyri. We also examined behavioral and fMRI patterns to response inhibition (i.e., trials in which participants had to withhold naming, No-Go trials). Older adults made more commission errors and elicited more fMRI activation in bilateral superior and middle frontal gyri, bilateral supramarginal gyri, and bilateral middle temporal gyri. Moreover, we were interested in the relationship of these age-related increases in fMRI activation to behavior. To assess this, we correlated older adults’ behavioral performance (i.e., reaction time for Go trials, commission error rate for No-Go trials) with their brain activation across conditions. Interestingly, for naming trials we observed that increases in activation were associated with faster reaction times, suggesting that the increases may be compensatory. In particular, activation in pre- and post- central gyri was negatively correlated with naming response times, suggesting that these key regions for language production may be more resilient to age-related declines. These findings highlight the importance influence of task difficulty on behavioral and fMRI patterns of activation and suggest that the nature of age-related increases in fMRI activation may depend on the task at hand.