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Age differences in reward-motivation attention: behavioural and ERP evidence

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posted on 22.05.2021, 10:01 by Farrah Kudus
The attentional system is comprised of three networks: alerting, orienting, and executive control, all of which are associated with unique neural systems. Research examining motivationcognition interactions implicate the dopaminergic and locus-coeruleus norepinephrine systems in attentional and motivational processes, both of which show age differences. The current study was conducted to explore the mechanisms through which gain and loss motivation affect attention across the lifespan, using behavioural and electrophysiological markers of attentional networks. Younger adults (18-33 years) and older adults (65-80 years) completed an incentivized version of the Attention Network Test. Our behavioural results showed age differences in incentive sensitivity, such that responses were modulated as a function of incentives. We also examined cue-N1, target-N1, and target-P3, which showed transient incentive-based modulation, and depended on incentive valence. Overall, our study provides evidence for age-related differences in the modulation of attentional networks, and contributes new insights into the mechanisms behind motivation-cognition interactions. Keywords: Attention Network Test, Motivation, Incentives, Cognitive Aging, Alerting, Executive Control





Master of Arts



Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type