aging, cognition, cognitive aging, face perception, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), functional reorganization, memory, neuroimaging, positron emission tomography (PET)
My research focuses on the use of brain imaging to explore the functional changes that occur in aging and how these relate to changes in behavior. A hypothesis is that we can demonstrate functional reorganization in the brains of older individuals when the experimental conditions are conducive to good performance in the elderly.
A recent experiment showed that older individuals have reduced activity in medial temporal regions but greater activity in left prefrontal cortex, compared to young adults, during a short-term face memory task. The old adults' performance on this task was only slightly below that of the young adults, indicating that increased utilization of prefrontal cortex may have compensated in some way for dysfunction elsewhere in the brain.
This research will aid us in rehabilitation efforts by helping us to understand the brain alterations that are responsible for improvements that occur with training. This research is supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research and the Canadian Foundation for Innovation.