Human aging reduces the neurobehavioral influence of motivation on episodic memory

Human aging reduces the neurobehavioral influence of motivation on episodic memory The neural circuitry mediating the influence of motivation on long-term declarative or episodic memory formation is delineated in young adults, but its status is unknown in healthy aging. We examined the effect of reward and punishment anticipation on intentional declarative memory formation for words using an event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) monetary incentive encoding task in twenty-one younger and nineteen older adults. At 24-hour memory retrieval testing, younger adults were significantly more likely to remember words associated with motivational cues than neutral cues. Motivational enhancement of memory in younger adults occurred only for recollection (“remember” responses) and not for familiarity (“familiar” responses). Older adults had overall diminished memory and did not show memory gains in association with motivational cues. Memory encoding associated with monetary rewards or punishments activated motivational (substantia nigra/ventral tegmental area) and memory-related (hippocampus) brain regions in younger, but not older, adults during the target word periods. In contrast, older and younger adults showed similar activation of these brain regions during the anticipatory motivational cue interval. In a separate monetary incentive delay task that did not require learning, we found evidence for relatively preserved striatal reward anticipation in older adults. This supports a potential dissociation between incidental and intentional motivational processes in healthy aging. The finding that motivation to obtain rewards and avoid punishments had reduced behavioral and neural influence on intentional episodic memory formation in older compared to younger adults is relevant to life-span theories of cognitive aging including the dopaminergic vulnerability hypothesis. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Neuroimage Elsevier

Human aging reduces the neurobehavioral influence of motivation on episodic memory

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Publisher
Elsevier
Copyright
Copyright © 2017 The Authors
ISSN
1053-8119
eISSN
1095-9572
D.O.I.
10.1016/j.neuroimage.2017.12.053
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The neural circuitry mediating the influence of motivation on long-term declarative or episodic memory formation is delineated in young adults, but its status is unknown in healthy aging. We examined the effect of reward and punishment anticipation on intentional declarative memory formation for words using an event-related functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) monetary incentive encoding task in twenty-one younger and nineteen older adults. At 24-hour memory retrieval testing, younger adults were significantly more likely to remember words associated with motivational cues than neutral cues. Motivational enhancement of memory in younger adults occurred only for recollection (“remember” responses) and not for familiarity (“familiar” responses). Older adults had overall diminished memory and did not show memory gains in association with motivational cues. Memory encoding associated with monetary rewards or punishments activated motivational (substantia nigra/ventral tegmental area) and memory-related (hippocampus) brain regions in younger, but not older, adults during the target word periods. In contrast, older and younger adults showed similar activation of these brain regions during the anticipatory motivational cue interval. In a separate monetary incentive delay task that did not require learning, we found evidence for relatively preserved striatal reward anticipation in older adults. This supports a potential dissociation between incidental and intentional motivational processes in healthy aging. The finding that motivation to obtain rewards and avoid punishments had reduced behavioral and neural influence on intentional episodic memory formation in older compared to younger adults is relevant to life-span theories of cognitive aging including the dopaminergic vulnerability hypothesis.

Journal

NeuroimageElsevier

Published: May 1, 2018

References

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