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See detailInfluence of response prepotency strength, general working memory resources, and specific working memory load on the ability to inhibit predominant responses: A comparison of young and elderly participants
Grandjean, Julien ULg; Collette, Fabienne ULg

in Brain & Cognition (2011), 77

One conception of inhibitory functioning suggests that the ability to successfully inhibit a predominant response depends mainly on the strength of that response, the general functioning of working memory ... [more ▼]

One conception of inhibitory functioning suggests that the ability to successfully inhibit a predominant response depends mainly on the strength of that response, the general functioning of working memory processes, and the working memory demand of the task (Roberts, Hager, and Heron, 1994). The proposal that inhibition and functional working memory capacity interact was assessed in the present study using two motor inhibition tasks (Go/No-Go and response incompatibility) in young and older participants. The strength of prepotency was assessed with a short or long training phase for the response to be inhibited. The influence of working memory resources was evaluated by administering the tasks in full versus divided attention conditions. The effect of working memory load was manipulated by increasing the number of target and distracter items in each task. Results showed no effect of prepotency strength, whereas dividing attentional resources and increasing working memory load were associated with greater inhibitory effects in both groups and for both tasks. This deleterious effect was higher for older participants, except in the working memory load condition of the Go/No-Go task. These results suggest an interactive link between working memory and response inhibition by showing that taxing working memory resources increases the difficulty of inhibiting prepotent responses in younger and older subjects. The additional detrimental effect of these factors on healthy elderly subjects was related to their decreased cognitive resources and to their shorter span size. [less ▲]

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See detailImplicit learning of complex information in amnesia
Meulemans, Thierry ULg; Van der Linden, Martial ULg

in Brain & Cognition (2003), 52(2), 250-257

Implicit learning abilities of nine amnesic patients were explored by using an artificial grammar learning task in which the test strings were constructed in such a way that grammaticality judgments could ... [more ▼]

Implicit learning abilities of nine amnesic patients were explored by using an artificial grammar learning task in which the test strings were constructed in such a way that grammaticality judgments could not be based on a simple knowledge of bigrams and trigrams (chunks). Results show that amnesic patients and controls performed at the same level during the classification task, whereas amnesic patients performed worse than controls in an explicit generation task. Moreover, there was no correlation between the implicit and explicit measures. These results are compatible with the existence of two kinds of representation intervening in artificial grammar learning. The first one based on processes leading to fragment-specific knowledge (the chunks, which can be accessed explicitly), and the second based on the learning of simple associations and more complex conditional relations between elements. (C) 2003 Elsevier Science (USA). All rights reserved. [less ▲]

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See detailSensation-seeking and impulsivity in young and older adults' decision making
Willems, Sylvie ULg; Van der Linden, Martial ULg; Marczewski, Philippe

in Brain & Cognition (2003), 51(2), 237-239

The somatic marker hypothesis asserts that decision-making processes involve emotion. Using a gambling task that models real-life decisions, studies showed that old adults perform less efficiently than ... [more ▼]

The somatic marker hypothesis asserts that decision-making processes involve emotion. Using a gambling task that models real-life decisions, studies showed that old adults perform less efficiently than younger adults, by adopting a strategy that is disadvantageous on the long term. This study aimed at re-examining the age effect on decisionmaking with the same paradigm, and to explore whether differences are related to sensation-seeking and impulsivity traits of personality. Young and older adults were compared on the gambling task (Bechara, Damasio, & Damasio, 2000a), and on questionnaires of sensationseeking and impulsivity. Results confirmed an age effect on the gambling task performance. Moreover, performance in both young and older adults on this task was correlated to scores on the sensation-seeking scale, but not to the rating of impulsivity [less ▲]

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See detailStates of awareness associated with memory for emotional and neutral pictures in older and younger adults
D'Argembeau, Arnaud ULg; Comblain, Christine; Van der Linden, Martial ULg et al

in Brain & Cognition (2003, March), 51(2), 220-221

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See detailThe relationships between executive dysfunction and frontal hypometabolism in Alzheimer's disease
Collette, Fabienne ULg; Delrue, Gaël ULg; Van der Linden, Martial ULg et al

in Brain & Cognition (2001), 47(1/2), 272-275

A serie of tasks assessing executive functions was administered to patients with Alzheimer's disease and control subjects. Two groups of Alzheimer patients were examined : patients with hypometabolism ... [more ▼]

A serie of tasks assessing executive functions was administered to patients with Alzheimer's disease and control subjects. Two groups of Alzheimer patients were examined : patients with hypometabolism restricted to the posterior (temporal and parietal) cerebral areas and patients with hypometabolism in both posterior and anterior (frontal) cerebral areas. The performance of Alzheimer patients was inferior to control subjects on all executive tasks. However, the two groups of Alzheimer patients did not differ from each other on all tasks except one. These data indicate that frontal lobe hypometabolism is not necessary to produce executive impairment in Alzheimer's disease. Consequently, executive dysfunction could be the consequence of a disconnection process between posterior and anterior cerebral areas; [less ▲]

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See detailPreserved artificial grammar learning in Parkinson's disease
Meulemans, Thierry ULg; Peigneux, Philippe ULg; Van der Linden, Martial ULg

in Brain & Cognition (1998), 37(1), 109-112

Parkinson's disease (PD) patients and matched control subjects were compared in an artificial grammar learning task. The test strings were constructed in such a way that grammaticality judgments could not ... [more ▼]

Parkinson's disease (PD) patients and matched control subjects were compared in an artificial grammar learning task. The test strings were constructed in such a way that grammaticality judgments could not be based on some superficial features of the learning strings: the grammatical and nongrammatical test strings did not differ according to different measures of chunk strength (based on the frequency with which their bigrams and trigrams appear in the learning strings). Results show that PD patients and controls performed at the same level during the first presentation of the test strings series, which suggests that the striatum is not (crucially) implicated in the ability to abstract rules implicitly from exemplars generated by a finite-state grammar. However, and contrary to control subjects, the classification performance of PD patients was at chance during the second presentation of the test strings. We argue that this latter result could be the consequence of the attentional deficit of PD patients. [less ▲]

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