Monday, January 28, 2013

Graduate presents, "Normal Healthy Aging and Right-Hemisphere Functioning in the Elderly" at Fielding's Winter Session 2013

Katherine D. Tong, Fielding's School of Psychology (2012)

Previous research has determined the presence of age-related decline in left-hemisphere functioning, but little is known regarding the effect of age on purported right-hemisphere abilities over the age trajectory. A series of neuropsychological tests (Trail Making Tests A and B, Trails C, the Street Completion Test, the Letter Naming Test, and the Gestalt Closure Test) was administered to determine the presence of right posterior (gestaltic) functional decline compared to executive/frontal decline in a group of 124 normal healthy participants aged 50 to 79 years. It was anticipated that though executive functioning would deteriorate with age, the gestaltic functioning would not. The overall results show that the gestaltic functioning holds through the 60s and then shows a mild decline. However, executive function shows a continuous decline as assessed though the Trailmaking B and Trails C. Letter Naming, like gestaltic functioning, holds though the 60s and then shows a mild decline, unlike other executive tasks.

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