Correspondence of executive function related functional and anatomical alterations in aging brain

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Neurocognitive aging studies have focused on age-related changes in neural activity or neural structure but few studies have focused on relationships between the two. The present study quantitatively reviewed 24 studies of age-related changes in fMRI activation across a broad spectrum of executive function tasks using activation likelihood estimation (ALE) and 22 separate studies of age-related changes in gray matter using voxel-based morphometry (VBM). Conjunction analyses between functional and structural alteration maps were constructed. Overlaps were only observed in the conjunction of dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC) gray matter reduction and functional hyperactivation but not hypoactivation. It was not evident that the conjunctions between gray matter and activation were related to task performance. Theoretical implications of these results are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)41-50
Number of pages10
JournalProgress in Neuro-Psychopharmacology and Biological Psychiatry
StatePublished - Jan 3 2014

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology
  • Biological Psychiatry


  • Aging
  • Dorsolateral prefrontal cortex
  • Efficiency
  • Executive function
  • Meta-analysis
  • Plasticity


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