Age-related memory impairment associated with loss of parietal deactivation but preserved hippocampal activation Academic Article uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Aging
  • Hippocampus
  • Memory Disorders
  • Parietal Lobe


  • The neural underpinnings of age-related memory impairment remain to be fully elucidated. Using a subsequent memory face-name functional MRI (fMRI) paradigm, young and old adults showed a similar magnitude and extent of hippocampal activation during successful associative encoding. Young adults demonstrated greater deactivation (task-induced decrease in BOLD signal) in medial parietal regions during successful compared with failed encoding, whereas old adults as a group did not demonstrate a differential pattern of deactivation between trial types. The failure of deactivation was particularly evident in old adults who performed poorly on the memory task. These low-performing old adults demonstrated greater hippocampal and prefrontal activation to achieve successful encoding trials, possibly as a compensatory response. Findings suggest that successful encoding requires the coordination of neural activity in hippocampal, prefrontal, and parietal regions, and that age-related memory impairment may be primarily related to a loss of deactivation in medial parietal regions.

publication date

  • February 12, 2008



  • Academic Article



  • eng

PubMed Central ID

  • PMC2538895

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1073/pnas.0706818105

PubMed ID

  • 18238903

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 2181

end page

  • 6


  • 105


  • 6