Brain activation during encoding and recognition of verbal and figural information in older adults

L. L. Beason-Held, S. Golski, M. A. Kraut, G. Esposito, S. M. Resnick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


Positron emission tomography (PET) patterns of cerebral blood flow associated with verbal and figural memory are described in relation to their value as functional probes for studying longitudinal changes that occur in the aging brain. Relative to a matching control task, verbal and figural encoding increase blood flow in prefrontal cortex (PFC), anterior cingulate, insular, lateral and medial temporal, occipital cortex and the cerebellum. Additionally, medial temporal regions exhibited greater activity during figural encoding relative to verbal encoding. During recognition, blood flow increases in prefrontal, cingulate, insular, and lateral temporal and Broca's areas. Analysis of hemispheric asymmetry reveals that the prefrontal cortex exhibits regionally dependent results. Prefrontal region BA 10 demonstrates more bilateral activation during encoding and retrieval, whereas BA 46 shows right greater than left activation during both encoding and retrieval. Overall, the two tasks activate diverse regions within the frontal, temporal and occipital lobes of the brain, including areas that show age-related structural changes, proving their usefulness in the longitudinal assessment of brain function in the elderly.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)237-250
Number of pages14
JournalNeurobiology of aging
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2005


  • Age
  • Aging
  • Brain function
  • Functional imaging
  • Memory
  • Neuroimaging
  • Positron emission tomography
  • Spatial

ASJC Scopus subject areas

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


Dive into the research topics of 'Brain activation during encoding and recognition of verbal and figural information in older adults'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this