Aging, Memory, and Frontal Lobe Functioning

Fergus I.M. Craik and Cheryl L. Grady

in Principles of Frontal Lobe Function

Published in print August 2002 | ISBN: 9780195134971
Published online May 2009 | e-ISBN: 9780199864157 | DOI:
Aging, Memory, and Frontal Lobe Functioning

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A recent review of the evidence for the frontal lobe aging hypothesis concluded that too little attention has been paid to evidence for changes seen elsewhere in the brain and advocates a network approach to this issue, rather than a localization one. This chapter shows that the neuroimaging evidence indicates a critical role not only for the frontal lobes in cognitive aging but also for other areas as well. Age-related declines in memory do occur, but declines are much greater in the performance of some tasks (e.g., recall and working memory tasks) than that of others (e.g., recognition memory and implicit memory tasks). Age-related declines in brain volume are also differential, with the greatest amounts of atrophy being seen in the prefrontal cortex and neostriatum. It is now clear that age-related changes in prefrontal cortical structure and function are related to the changes observed in memory performance, although the research is still in its early days.

Keywords: frontal lobes; neuroimaging; frontal lobe aging hypothesis; working memory; age-related change; age-related decline

Chapter.  8219 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Neuroscience

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