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Neural dedifferentiation across the lifespan in the motor and somatosensory systems

(2020) CEREBRAL CORTEX. 30(6). p.3704-3716
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Abstract
Age-related declines in sensorimotor performance have been linked to dedifferentiation of neural representations (i.e., more widespread activity during task performance in older versus younger adults). However, it remains unclear whether changes in neural representations across the adult lifespan are related between the motor and somatosensory systems, and whether alterations in these representations are associated with age declines in motor and somatosensory performance. To investigate these issues, we collected functional magnetic resonance imaging and behavioral data while participants aged 19-76 years performed a visuomotor tapping task or received vibrotactile stimulation. Despite one finding indicative of compensatory mechanisms with older age, we generally observed that 1) older age was associated with greater activity and stronger positive connectivity within sensorimotor and LOC regions during both visuomotor and vibrotactile tasks; 2) increased activation and stronger positive connectivity were associated with worse performance; and 3) age differences in connectivity in the motor system correlated with those in the somatosensory system. Notwithstanding the difficulty of disentangling the relationships between age, brain, and behavioral measures, these results provide novel evidence for neural dedifferentiation across the adult lifespan in both motor and somatosensory systems and suggest that dedifferentiation in these two systems is related.
Keywords
EXTRASTRIATE BODY AREA, AGE-RELATED-CHANGES, CORTEX, PERFORMANCE, BRAIN, VIBROTACTILE, PROJECTIONS, INHIBITION, AFFERENT, FIELD, aging, connectivity, dedifferentiation, sensorimotor, task activity

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MLA
Cassady, Kaitlin, et al. “Neural Dedifferentiation across the Lifespan in the Motor and Somatosensory Systems.” CEREBRAL CORTEX, vol. 30, no. 6, 2020, pp. 3704–16, doi:10.1093/cercor/bhz336.
APA
Cassady, K., Ruitenberg, M., Reuter-Lorenz, P. A., Tommerdahl, M., & Seidler, R. D. (2020). Neural dedifferentiation across the lifespan in the motor and somatosensory systems. CEREBRAL CORTEX, 30(6), 3704–3716. https://doi.org/10.1093/cercor/bhz336
Chicago author-date
Cassady, Kaitlin, Marit Ruitenberg, Patricia A. Reuter-Lorenz, Mark Tommerdahl, and Rachael D. Seidler. 2020. “Neural Dedifferentiation across the Lifespan in the Motor and Somatosensory Systems.” CEREBRAL CORTEX 30 (6): 3704–16. https://doi.org/10.1093/cercor/bhz336.
Chicago author-date (all authors)
Cassady, Kaitlin, Marit Ruitenberg, Patricia A. Reuter-Lorenz, Mark Tommerdahl, and Rachael D. Seidler. 2020. “Neural Dedifferentiation across the Lifespan in the Motor and Somatosensory Systems.” CEREBRAL CORTEX 30 (6): 3704–3716. doi:10.1093/cercor/bhz336.
Vancouver
1.
Cassady K, Ruitenberg M, Reuter-Lorenz PA, Tommerdahl M, Seidler RD. Neural dedifferentiation across the lifespan in the motor and somatosensory systems. CEREBRAL CORTEX. 2020;30(6):3704–16.
IEEE
[1]
K. Cassady, M. Ruitenberg, P. A. Reuter-Lorenz, M. Tommerdahl, and R. D. Seidler, “Neural dedifferentiation across the lifespan in the motor and somatosensory systems,” CEREBRAL CORTEX, vol. 30, no. 6, pp. 3704–3716, 2020.
@article{8703146,
  abstract     = {Age-related declines in sensorimotor performance have been linked to dedifferentiation of neural representations (i.e., more widespread activity during task performance in older versus younger adults). However, it remains unclear whether changes in neural representations across the adult lifespan are related between the motor and somatosensory systems, and whether alterations in these representations are associated with age declines in motor and somatosensory performance. To investigate these issues, we collected functional magnetic resonance imaging and behavioral data while participants aged 19-76 years performed a visuomotor tapping task or received vibrotactile stimulation. Despite one finding indicative of compensatory mechanisms with older age, we generally observed that 1) older age was associated with greater activity and stronger positive connectivity within sensorimotor and LOC regions during both visuomotor and vibrotactile tasks; 2) increased activation and stronger positive connectivity were associated with worse performance; and 3) age differences in connectivity in the motor system correlated with those in the somatosensory system. Notwithstanding the difficulty of disentangling the relationships between age, brain, and behavioral measures, these results provide novel evidence for neural dedifferentiation across the adult lifespan in both motor and somatosensory systems and suggest that dedifferentiation in these two systems is related.},
  author       = {Cassady, Kaitlin and Ruitenberg, Marit and Reuter-Lorenz, Patricia A. and Tommerdahl, Mark and Seidler, Rachael D.},
  issn         = {1047-3211},
  journal      = {CEREBRAL CORTEX},
  keywords     = {EXTRASTRIATE BODY AREA,AGE-RELATED-CHANGES,CORTEX,PERFORMANCE,BRAIN,VIBROTACTILE,PROJECTIONS,INHIBITION,AFFERENT,FIELD,aging,connectivity,dedifferentiation,sensorimotor,task activity},
  language     = {eng},
  number       = {6},
  pages        = {3704--3716},
  title        = {Neural dedifferentiation across the lifespan in the motor and somatosensory systems},
  url          = {http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/cercor/bhz336},
  volume       = {30},
  year         = {2020},
}

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