Neuroimaging of Healthy Cognitive Aging
Cognitive aging research and theory has, until recently, been based upon behavioral measures of cognitive performance such as response time and accuracy. Results from behavioral methodologies have indicated a general age-related decline in cognitive functions such as speed of processing, attention, perception, working memory, and cued and free recall-and age invariance when assessing cognitive processes associated with vocabulary and semantic memory. Recently, advances in the area of neuroimaging have allowed for the examination of the relationship between cognitive and neural differences in the aging brain. Given that cognitive processes depend on brain anatomy and physiology, it is natural to expect that previously observed behavioral differences in aging are intimately linked to age-related changes in the integrity of cerebral architecture and function.