Age-related differences in brain activation during emotional face processing

Faith M. Gunning-Dixon, Ruben C. Gur, Alexis C. Perkins, Lee Schroeder, Travis Turner, Bruce I. Turetsky, Robin M. Chan, James W. Loughead, David C. Alsop, Joseph A Maldjian, Raquel E. Gur

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

204 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Advancing age is associated with significant declines on neurobehavioral tasks that demand substantial mental effort. Functional imaging studies of mental abilities indicate that older adults faced with cognitive challenges tend to activate more regions, particularly frontal, than their younger counterparts, and that this recruitment of additional regions may reflect an attempt to compensate for inefficiency in cortical networks. The neural basis of emotion processing in aging has received little attention, and the goal of the present study was to use functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to examine the influence of age on facial emotion processing and activation in cortical and limbic regions. Participants (eight old and eight young adults) viewed facial displays of happiness, sadness, anger, fear, disgust, and neutrality in alternating blocks of emotion and age discrimination. We predicted that in response to an emotion discrimination task, older adults would demonstrate increased use of frontal regions relative to younger adults, perhaps combined with diminished use of regions recruited by younger adults, such as temporo-limbic regions. During the emotion discrimination task, young participants activated, visual, frontal and limbic regions, whereas older participants activated parietal, temporal and frontal regions. A direct comparison between emotion and age discrimination revealed that while younger adults activated the amygdala and surrounding temporo-limbic regions, older adults activated left frontal regions. The results of this study suggest that older adults may rely on different cortical networks to perceive emotional facial expressions than do their younger counterparts.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)285-295
Number of pages11
JournalNeurobiology of Aging
Volume24
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Mar 1 2003

Fingerprint

Emotions
Young Adult
Brain
Ageism
Happiness
Facial Expression
Aptitude
Anger
Temporal Lobe
Amygdala
Fear
Magnetic Resonance Imaging

Keywords

  • Aging
  • Brain
  • Facial emotion processing
  • fMRI
  • Functional neuroimaging

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Aging
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

Cite this

Gunning-Dixon, F. M., Gur, R. C., Perkins, A. C., Schroeder, L., Turner, T., Turetsky, B. I., ... Gur, R. E. (2003). Age-related differences in brain activation during emotional face processing. Neurobiology of Aging, 24(2), 285-295. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0197-4580(02)00099-4

Age-related differences in brain activation during emotional face processing. / Gunning-Dixon, Faith M.; Gur, Ruben C.; Perkins, Alexis C.; Schroeder, Lee; Turner, Travis; Turetsky, Bruce I.; Chan, Robin M.; Loughead, James W.; Alsop, David C.; Maldjian, Joseph A; Gur, Raquel E.

In: Neurobiology of Aging, Vol. 24, No. 2, 01.03.2003, p. 285-295.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Gunning-Dixon, FM, Gur, RC, Perkins, AC, Schroeder, L, Turner, T, Turetsky, BI, Chan, RM, Loughead, JW, Alsop, DC, Maldjian, JA & Gur, RE 2003, 'Age-related differences in brain activation during emotional face processing', Neurobiology of Aging, vol. 24, no. 2, pp. 285-295. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0197-4580(02)00099-4
Gunning-Dixon FM, Gur RC, Perkins AC, Schroeder L, Turner T, Turetsky BI et al. Age-related differences in brain activation during emotional face processing. Neurobiology of Aging. 2003 Mar 1;24(2):285-295. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0197-4580(02)00099-4
Gunning-Dixon, Faith M. ; Gur, Ruben C. ; Perkins, Alexis C. ; Schroeder, Lee ; Turner, Travis ; Turetsky, Bruce I. ; Chan, Robin M. ; Loughead, James W. ; Alsop, David C. ; Maldjian, Joseph A ; Gur, Raquel E. / Age-related differences in brain activation during emotional face processing. In: Neurobiology of Aging. 2003 ; Vol. 24, No. 2. pp. 285-295.
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