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Narrative discourse in young and older adults: behavioral and NIRS analyses

Charles-Olivier Martin, Stéphanie Pontbriand-Drolet, Valérie Daoust, Eric Yamga, Mahnoush Amiri, Lilian C. Hubner, Bernadette Ska

Article (2018)

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Abstract

Discourse comprehension is at the core of communication capabilities, making it an important component of elderly populations' quality of life. The aim of this study is to evaluate changes in discourse comprehension and the underlying brain activity. Thirty-six participants read short stories and answered related probes in three conditions: micropropositions, macropropositions and situation models. Using near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS), the variation in oxyhemoglobin (HbO2) and deoxyhemoglobin (HbR) concentrations was assessed throughout the task. The results revealed that the older adults performed with equivalent accuracy to the young ones at the macroproposition level of discourse comprehension, but were less accurate at the microproposition and situation model levels. Similar to what is described in the compensation-related utilization of neural circuits hypothesis (CRUNCH) model, older participants tended to have greater activation in the left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex while reading in all conditions. Although it did not enable them to perform similarly to younger participants in all conditions, this over-activation could be interpreted as a compensation mechanism.

Uncontrolled Keywords

Nirs; aging; cerebral plasticity; discourse comprehension; language

Subjects: 1900 Biomedical engineering > 1900 Biomedical engineering
8000 Social sciences and humanities > 8000 Social sciences and humanities
9000 Health sciences > 9000 Health sciences
Department: Institut de génie biomédical
Funders: Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)
Grant number: 8827
PolyPublie URL: https://publications.polymtl.ca/3568/
Journal Title: Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience (vol. 10)
Publisher: Frontiers
DOI: 10.3389/fnagi.2018.00069
Official URL: https://doi.org/10.3389/fnagi.2018.00069
Date Deposited: 26 Mar 2020 17:10
Last Modified: 11 Nov 2022 14:14
Cite in APA 7: Martin, C.-O., Pontbriand-Drolet, S., Daoust, V., Yamga, E., Amiri, M., Hubner, L. C., & Ska, B. (2018). Narrative discourse in young and older adults: behavioral and NIRS analyses. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 10. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnagi.2018.00069

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