News FocusNeuroscience

A Generation Gap in Brain Activity

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Science  21 Jun 2002:
Vol. 296, Issue 5576, pp. 2131-2133
DOI: 10.1126/science.296.5576.2131

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As the field of cognitive neuroscience matures, researchers are using imaging studies to get a better fix on what happens to the brain as it ages. Some researchers have observed that certain brain areas physically shrink over time, whereas others have found that the patterns of neural activity in 60- or 70-year-olds often bear little resemblance to those in the 20-something subjects who populate most brain functional imaging studies. Exactly how these changes relate to cognitive failings in old age remains unclear, however.