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Psychology Department Colloquium Andrew Aschenbrenner Washington University

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Psychology Department Colloquium Andrew Aschenbrenner Washington University
PsychologyDepartmentColloquium
AndrewAschenbrenner
WashingtonUniversity
DiscriminatingHealthyAgingfromPreclinicalAlzheimerDisease:Insights
fromCognitiveModelsofAttentionalControlandModelsofADPathology
Thereisconsiderableinterestinunderstandingaspectsofcognitiveperformancethatcan
discriminatecognitivelyhealthyagingfromtheearlieststagesofneurodegenerative
disorderssuchasAlzheimerdisease(AD).Recentevidenceindicatesthatthepathological
hallmarksofADaccumulate10‐15yearsbeforethemanifestationofclinicalsymptoms,
whichsuggeststhatevenstudiesof“healthy”olderadultsarelikelytobecontaminatedby
individualsinthepreclinicalstagesofthedisease.However,evidencefortherelationship
betweenbiologicalmarkersofADandconcurrentcognitivefunctionhasbeenmixed.This
talkwillfocusonchangesinattentionalcontrolasaparticularlysensitivecognitivemarker
ofpreclinicalAD.Usingdatafromalargescale,longitudinalstudy,age‐relateddeclinesin
attentionareshowntobeexaggeratedwhenADpathologyishigh,eveninotherwise
clinicallyhealthyolderadults.Incross‐sectionaldatafromasimilarcohort,the
contributionofattentionalcontroltoimpairmentsinotherdomains,specificallysemantic
memoryretrieval,isexamined.Underconditionsofhighattentionaldemands,theinfluence
ofestablishedADbiomarkersmultiplicativelyimpairscategorizationperformanceina
mannerconsistentwithahypothesizedmodelofpathologyaccumulation.Implicationsfor
cognitivetheoryandapplicationstoclinicaldrugtrialsarediscussed.
Thursday,January21,4pm
Refreshmentsservedat3:45
108WestVillageG
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