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Revue de neuropsychologie

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Age-related changes in executive processes and their neural substrates Volume 11, issue 2, Avril-Mai-Juin 2019

Author
Unités de recherche GIGA-CRC In Vivo Imaging et Psychologie et neuroscience cognitive, Université de Liège,
allée du VI-août-8 (B30),
4000 Liège, Belgique
Fond national belge pour la recherche scientifique, FRS-FNRS
* Correspondance

Age-related changes in executive functioning are frequently reported in the literature. However, this is not a global impairment and dissociations are observed for almost all functions, such as impaired inhibitory control processes but preserved automatic processes. The efficiency of non-executive processes involved in executive tasks seems to influence executive functions, as well as some non-cognitive variables. At the brain level, executive functioning in elderly people is associated with specific brain patterns that differ from those used by young people. However, these brain patterns are sometimes not efficient enough to optimize performance. Consequently, the reasons for the decrease in executive functioning in normal aging may be considered as multi-determined, and not only as an executive dysfunction per se. Future studies should seek to identify the individual characteristics that make it possible to maintain optimal executive functioning in old age.

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