All Title Author
Keywords Abstract

Effects of Age and Cardiovascular Disease on Selective Attention

DOI: 10.1155/2013/185385

Full-Text   Cite this paper   Add to My Lib


In order to study the effect of normal aging and cardiovascular disease on selective attention, a letter-identification task was proposed to younger and older healthy adults as well as patients with a recent myocardial infarction or a recent coronary artery bypass grafting. Participants had to detect either a big stimulus or a small one surrounded by flanking letters. The stimuli were displayed horizontally, either in the left (LVF) or in the right visual field (RVF). The interaction between the type of stimulus and the hemifield of presentation reached significance in all groups except in patients who underwent a coronary artery bypass. Only young normal adults showed the expected significant RVF advantage when detecting big stimuli and an LVF advantage when detecting small stimuli surrounded by flankers. In older control adults and in patients with myocardial infarction, the RVF advantage for the condition with selective attention vanished. In patients who underwent a coronary artery bypass, reaction times were increased and no hemispheric specialization for selective attention emerged. The results are discussed with regard to the hypothesis of a Hemispheric Asymmetry Reduction in Older Adults (HAROLD model) and to the presence of cognitive dysfunction consecutive to cardiovascular disease. 1. Introduction The concept of selective attention usually refers to the ability to focus on areas of visual space to facilitate target detection [1]. Using a visual detection paradigm adapted from LaBerge and Buchsbaum [2], and previously shown to activate the pulvinar [3] we demonstrated that when selective attention is required to identify a visual target surrounded by flankers, reaction times (RTs) are shorter in the right than in the left visual field [4, 5], thus confirming a left hemisphere (LH) advantage for filtering irrelevant information and analysing the local features of a visual scene [6, 7]. Conversely, RTs are found to be shorter in the left visual field (LVF) than in the right visual field (RVF) when the to-be-identified target is presented alone and required less filtering activity, that is, less selective attention. These data were obtained in young healthy right-handed adults (average age, 28.4 years in Chokron et al. [4]), but as several studies have hypothesized, aging may modify both selective attention processes and the pattern of cerebral lateralization [8]. Cabeza et al. [9] measured prefrontal activation in younger and older adults performing memory tasks. They found that high-functioning older adults showed strong bilateral prefrontal


[1]  M. I. Posner and S. E. Petersen, “The attention system of the human brain,” Annual Review of Neuroscience, vol. 13, pp. 25–42, 1990.
[2]  D. LaBerge and M. S. Buchsbaum, “Positron emission tomographic measurements of pulvinar activity during an attention task,” Journal of Neuroscience, vol. 10, no. 2, pp. 613–619, 1990.
[3]  M. S. Buchsbaum, B. R. Buchsbaum, S. Chokron, C. Tang, T. Wei, and W. Byne, “Thalamocortical circuits: fMRI assessment of the pulvinar and medial dorsal nucleus in normal volunteers,” Neuroscience Letters, vol. 404, no. 3, pp. 282–287, 2006.
[4]  S. Chokron, A. M. Brickman, T. Wei, and M. S. Buchsbaum, “Hemispheric asymmetry for selective attention,” Cognitive Brain Research, vol. 9, no. 1, pp. 85–90, 2000.
[5]  S. Chokron, P. Bartolomeo, P. Colliot et al., “Selective attention, inhibition for repeated events and hemispheric specialization,” Brain and Cognition, vol. 53, no. 2, pp. 158–161, 2003.
[6]  L. C. Robertson and M. R. Lamb, “Neuropsychological contributions to theories of part/whole organization,” Cognitive Psychology, vol. 23, no. 2, pp. 299–330, 1991.
[7]  L. C. Robertson, M. R. Lamb, and R. T. Knight, “Effects of lesions of temporal-parietal junction on perceptual and attentional processing in humans,” Journal of Neuroscience, vol. 8, no. 10, pp. 3757–3769, 1988.
[8]  G. Goldstein and C. H. Shelly, “Does the right hemisphere age more rapidly than the left?” Journal of Clinical Neuropsychology, vol. 3, no. 1, pp. 65–78, 1981.
[9]  R. Cabeza, N. D. Anderson, J. K. Locantore, and A. R. McIntosh, “Aging gracefully: compensatory brain activity in high-performing older adults,” NeuroImage, vol. 17, no. 3, pp. 1394–1402, 2002.
[10]  M. D. Scheibel and A. B. Scheibel, “Structural changes in the aging brain,” in Aging, H. Brody, D. Harman, and J. M. Ordy, Eds., vol. 1, Raven Press, New York, NY, USA, 1975.
[11]  J. E. Birren, A. M. Woods, and M. V. Williams, “Speed of behaviour as an indicator of age changes and the integrity of the nervous system,” in Brain Function in Old Age, F. Hoffmeister and C. Muller, Eds., Springer, Berlin, Germany, 1979.
[12]  J. E. Overall and D. R. Gorham, “Organicity versus old age in objective and projective test performance,” Journal of Consulting and Clinical Psychology, vol. 39, no. 1, pp. 98–105, 1972.
[13]  G. Goldstein and C. H. Shelly, “Similarities and differences between psychological deficit in aging and brain damage,” Journals of Gerontology, vol. 30, no. 4, pp. 448–455, 1975.
[14]  D. Klisz, “Neuropsychological evaluation in older persons,” in The Clinical Psychology of Aging, M. Storandt, I. C. Siegler, and M. F. Elias, Eds., Plenum Press, New York, NY, USA, 1978.
[15]  R. C. Johnson, R. E. Cole, J. K. Bowers et al., “Hemispheric efficiency in middle and later adulthood,” Cortex, vol. 15, no. 1, pp. 109–119, 1979.
[16]  M. J. Prince, “Vascular risk factors and atherosclerosis as risk factors for cognitive decline and dementia,” Journal of Psychosomatic Research, vol. 39, no. 5, pp. 525–530, 1995.
[17]  J. C. de la Torre, “Cardiovascular risk factors promote brain hypoperfusion leading to cognitive decline and dementia,” Cardiovascular Psychiatry and Neurology, vol. 2012, Article ID 367516, 15 pages, 2012.
[18]  S. Kaffashian, A. Dugravot, A. Elbaz et al., “Predicting cognitive decline: a dementia risk score versus the Framingham vascular risk scores,” Neurology, vol. 80, no. 14, pp. 1300–1306, 2013.
[19]  J. M. Wolfe, “When do I quit? The search termination problem in visual search,” Nebraska Symposium on Motivation, vol. 59, pp. 183–208, 2012.
[20]  N. L. J. Saunders and M. J. Summers, “Longitudinal deficits to attention, executive, and working memory in subtypes of mild cognitive impairment,” Neuropsychology, vol. 25, no. 2, pp. 237–248, 2011.
[21]  R. C. Oldfield, “The assessment and analysis of handedness: the Edinburgh inventory,” Neuropsychologia, vol. 9, no. 1, pp. 97–113, 1971.
[22]  M. H. Tabert, S. Chokron, C. Y. Tang, T. Wei, A. M. Brickman, and M. S. Buchsbaum, “Visual target detection paradigm for the study of selective attention,” Brain Research Protocols, vol. 6, no. 1-2, pp. 80–85, 2000.
[23]  D. L. Evert and M. Oscar-Berman, “Selective attentional processing and the right hemisphere: effects of aging and alcoholism,” Neuropsychology, vol. 15, no. 4, pp. 452–461, 2001.
[24]  F. Roux and M. Ceccaldi, “Does aging affect the allocation of visual attention in global and local information processing?” Brain and Cognition, vol. 46, no. 3, pp. 383–396, 2001.
[25]  L. S. Nagamatsu, P. Carolan, T. Y. L. Liu-Ambrose, and T. C. Handy, “Age-related changes in the attentional control of visual cortex: a selective problem in the left visual hemifield,” Neuropsychologia, vol. 49, no. 7, pp. 1670–1678, 2011.
[26]  C. Quigley, S. K. Andersen, and M. M. Müller, “Keeping focused: sustained spatial selective visual attention is maintained in healthy old age,” Brain Research, vol. 1469, pp. 24–34, 2012.
[27]  G. A. Michael and N. Ojéda, “Visual field asymmetries in selective attention: evidence from a modified search paradigm,” Neuroscience Letters, vol. 388, no. 2, pp. 65–70, 2005.
[28]  D. L. Evert, R. McGlinchey-Berroth, M. Verfaellie, and W. P. Milberg, “Hemispheric asymmetries for selective attention apparent only with increased task demands in healthy participants,” Brain and Cognition, vol. 53, no. 1, pp. 34–41, 2003.
[29]  R. B. Case, S. S. Heller, N. B. Case, and A. J. Moss, “Type A behavior and survival after acute myocardial infarction,” The New England Journal of Medicine, vol. 312, no. 12, pp. 737–741, 1985.
[30]  M. B. Cohen and P. J. Mather, “A Review of the association between congestive heart failure and cognitive impairment,” The American Journal of Geriatric Cardiology, vol. 16, no. 3, pp. 171–174, 2007.
[31]  M. C. Polidori, E. Mariani, P. Mecocci, and G. Nelles, “Congestive heart failure and Alzheimer's disease,” Neurological Research, vol. 28, no. 6, pp. 588–594, 2006.
[32]  G. K. Boucard, C. T. Albinet, A. Bugaiska, C. A. Bouquet, D. Clarys, and M. Audiffren, “Impact of physical activity on executive functions in aging: a selective effect on inhibition among old adults,” Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology, vol. 34, no. 6, pp. 808–827, 2012.
[33]  K. Farid, S. Petras, V. Ducasse et al., “Brain perfusion SPECT imaging and acetazolamide challenge in vascular cognitive impairment,” Nuclear Medicine Communications, vol. 33, no. 6, pp. 571–580, 2012.


comments powered by Disqus