Age-related differences in prefrontal-hippocampal connectivity are associated with reduced spatial context memory.

Altered functional connectivity between dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), posterior hippocampus (HC) and other brain regions with advanced age may contribute to age-related differences in episodic memory. In the current fMRI study of spatial context memory, we used seed connectivity analysis to test for age-related differences in the correlations between activity in DLPFC and HC seeds, and the rest of the brain, in an adult life span sample. In young adults, we found that connectivity between right DLPFC and other prefrontal cortex regions, parietal cortex, precuneus, and ventral visual cortices during encoding was positively related to performance. Positive seed connectivity among these regions, and negative connectivity with posterior HC at retrieval was also positively correlated with retrieval accuracy in young adults. In older adults, activity in right DLPFC was positively correlated with activity in this same set of brain regions, and with posterior HC during encoding and retrieval. Interestingly, this pattern of seed connectivity in older adults was negatively correlated with retrieval accuracy. Thus, age-related differences in context memory may be related to altered frontal-parietal and visual cortical interactions with posterior HC. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2019 APA, all rights reserved)