Roche, Richard and Hogan, Michael and Carolan, Leigh and Dockree, Paul and Kaiser, Jochen and Bunting, Brendan and Robertson, Ian and Lawlor, Brian
Electrophysiological and information processing variability predicts memory decrements associated with normal age-related cognitive decline and Alzheimer's disease (AD).
Brain Research, 1119 (1).
Recent theoretical models of cognitive aging have implicated increased intra-individual
variability as a critical marker of decline. The current study examined electrophysiological
and information processing variability and memory performance in normal younger and
older controls, and older adults with Alzheimer's disease (AD). It was hypothesized that
higher levels of variability would be indicative of age-related and disease-related memory
deficits. Results indicated both implicit and explicit memory deficits associated with AD.
Consistent with previous research, behavioral speed and variability emerged as sensitive to
age- and disease-related change. Amplitude variability of P3 event-related potentials was a
unique component of electrophysiological activity and accounted for significant variance in
reaction time (RT) mean and RT standard deviation, which in turn accounted for significant
variance in memory function. Results are discussed in light of theoretical and applied issues
in the field of cognitive aging.
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