Prefrontal and Parietal Regions Are Involved in Naming of Objects Seen From Unusual Viewpoints

Ariela Gigi, Reuven Babai, Eytan Katzav, Sharona Atkins, Talma Hendler

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Object naming is commonly used for demonstrating semantic memory abilities, known to be affected in normal aging. Yet, neuropsychological assessments of older people do not reflect irregularities. The authors used a test with 2 levels of naming complexity by 2 kinds of stimuli: common objects pictured from a conventional viewpoint (usual condition) or from an unconventional viewpoint (unusual condition). The authors studied naming performance with 129 healthy participants, aged 20-85 years. For the usual stimuli, the success rate was high (90.9%), with no reduction in performance until 65 years of age. However, for the unusual stimuli, there was a marked reduction in performance with age. Brain activity was studied on 11 healthy young participants (20-30 years of age) using functional magnetic resonance imaging. The usual condition activated brain regions associated with visual perception, language, and memory. Additional brain regions associated with semantic searching and decision making were obtained in the unusual condition in the prefrontal cortex (Brodmann's area [BA] 9 and BA 47) and anterior cingulate (BA 32). The results suggest that the poor naming performance for unusual-viewed objects in older people might be related to the shrinkage of frontal gray matter with age.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)836-844
Number of pages9
JournalBehavioral Neuroscience
Volume121
Issue number5
DOIs
StatePublished - Oct 2007

Keywords

  • aging
  • dorsolateral
  • functional magnetic resonance imaging
  • semantic
  • unconventional viewpoint

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