Exploring interhemispheric collaboration in older compared to younger adults
Physical and Name Identity letter-matching tasks were used to explore differences in interhemispheric collaboration in younger and older adults. To determine whether other factors might also be related to across/within-hemisphere processing or visual field asymmetries, neuropsychological tests measuring frontal/executive functioning were administered, and comparisons were made for participants split into low and high efficiency groups based on performance on the letter-matching tasks. A Task by Across/Within interaction was found for both groups, but with a stronger within-hemisphere advantage for the Physical Task and a weaker across-hemisphere advantage for the Name Task for older participants. More efficient groups and better performers on several neuropsychological tasks showed a reduced across-hemisphere advantage for the Name Identity task. Findings suggest that computational complexity, specific task demands, and perhaps trade-offs between age-related changes in gray and white matter all contribute to whether processing loads are distributed across or within hemispheres as we age.
Cherry, B. J., Yamashiro, M., Anderson, E., Barrett, C., Adamson, M. M., & Hellige, J. B. (2010). Exploring interhemispheric collaboration in older compared to younger adults. Brain and Cognition, 72, 218-227. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.bandc.2009.09.003