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A neural hallmark of auditory implicit learning is altered in older adults.

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posted on 20.08.2019, 11:51 by Sarah E. Donohue, Steffi Weinhold, Mircea A. Schoenfeld, Rodrigo Quian Quiroga, Jens-Max Hopf
Temporal regularities in the environment are often learned implicitly. In an auditory target-detection paradigm using EEG, Jongsma and colleagues (2006) showed that the neural response to these implicit regularities results in a reduction of the P3-N2 complex. Here, we utilized the same paradigm, this time in both young and old participants, to determine if this EEG signature of implicit learning was altered with age. Behaviorally, both groups of participants showed similar benefits for the presence of temporal regularity, with faster and more accurate responses given when the auditory targets were presented in a temporally regular vs. random pattern. In the brain, the younger adults showed the expected decrease in amplitude of this complex for regular compared to irregular trials. Older adults, in contrast, showed no difference in the amplitude of the P3-N2 complex between the irregular and regular condition. These data suggest that, although auditory implicit learning may be behaviorally spared in aging, older adults are not using the same neural substrates as younger adults to achieve this.

Funding

This work was supported by: Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft / Sonderforschungsbereich 779, Projects TP A1 to JMH and MAS; and Deutsche Forschungsgemeinschaft / Sonderforschungsbereich 779, Projects TP A14N to SED and MAS.

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Citation

PLoS ONE, 2019, 14(1): e0211468.

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/Organisation/COLLEGE OF LIFE SCIENCES/Biological Sciences/Neuroscience, Psychology and Behaviour

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VoR (Version of Record)

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PLoS ONE

Publisher

Public Library of Science

eissn

1932-6203

Acceptance date

15/01/2019

Copyright date

2019

Available date

20/08/2019

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https://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0211468

Notes

The data used in this study have been deposited to the Open Science Framework (OSF) under the project titled: A neural hallmark of auditory implicit learning is altered in older adults. They may be freely accessed via DOI:10.17605/OSF.IO/FQP4W.

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en

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