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Amphetamine modulates brain signal variability and working memory in younger and older adults
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2015 (English)In: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, ISSN 0027-8424, E-ISSN 1091-6490, Vol. 112, no 24, 7593-7598 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Better-performing younger adults typically express greater brain signal variability relative to older, poorer performers. Mechanisms for age and performance-graded differences in brain dynamics have, however, not yet been uncovered. Given the age-related decline of the dopamine (DA) system in normal cognitive aging, DA neuromodulation is one plausible mechanism. Hence, agents that boost systemic DA [such as d-amphetamine (AMPH)] may help to restore deficient signal variability levels. Furthermore, despite the standard practice of counterbalancing drug session order (AMPH first vs. placebo first), it remains understudied how AMPH may interact with practice effects, possibly influencing whether DA up-regulation is functional. We examined the effects of AMPH on functional-MRI-based blood oxygen level-dependent (BOLD) signal variability (SDBOLD) in younger and older adults during a working memory task (letter n-back). Older adults expressed lower brain signal variability at placebo, but met or exceeded young adult SDBOLD levels in the presence of AMPH. Drug session order greatly moderated change-change relations between AMPH-driven SDBOLD and reaction time means (RTmean) and SDs (RTSD). Older adults who received AMPH in the first session tended to improve in RTmean and RTSD when SDBOLD was boosted on AMPH, whereas younger and older adults who received AMPH in the second session showed either a performance improvement when SDBOLD decreased (for RTmean) or no effect at all (for RTSD). The present findings support the hypothesis that age differences in brain signal variability reflect aging-induced changes in dopaminergic neuromodulation. The observed interactions among AMPH, age, and session order highlight the state-and practice-dependent neurochemical basis of human brain dynamics.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2015. Vol. 112, no 24, 7593-7598 p.
Keyword [en]
brain signal variability, dopamine, aging, working memory, fMRI
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URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-106327DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1504090112ISI: 000356251800068PubMedID: 26034283OAI: diva2:842158
Available from: 2015-07-17 Created: 2015-07-10 Last updated: 2015-07-17Bibliographically approved

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Nyberg, Lars
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Department of Integrative Medical Biology (IMB)Department of Radiation SciencesUmeå Centre for Functional Brain Imaging (UFBI)
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