Spatial navigation in young versus older adults

Gazova, Ivana, Laczo, Jan, Rubinova, Eva, Mokrisova, Ivana, Hyncicova, Eva, Andel, Ross, Vyhnalek, Martin, Sheardova, Katerina, Coulson, Elizabeth J. and Hort, Jakub (2013) Spatial navigation in young versus older adults. Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience, 5 DEC: 94.1-94.8. doi:10.3389/fnagi.2013.00094

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Author Gazova, Ivana
Laczo, Jan
Rubinova, Eva
Mokrisova, Ivana
Hyncicova, Eva
Andel, Ross
Vyhnalek, Martin
Sheardova, Katerina
Coulson, Elizabeth J.
Hort, Jakub
Title Spatial navigation in young versus older adults
Journal name Frontiers in Aging Neuroscience   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1663-4365
Publication date 2013-12-01
Year available 2013
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.3389/fnagi.2013.00094
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 5
Issue DEC
Start page 94.1
End page 94.8
Total pages 8
Place of publication Lausanne, Switzerland
Publisher Frontiers Research Foundation
Language eng
Abstract Older age is associated with changes in the brain, including the medial temporal lobe, which may result in mild spatial navigation deficits, especially in allocentric navigation. The aim of the study was to characterize the profile of real-space allocentric (world-centered, hippocampus-dependent) and egocenric (body-centered, parietal lobe dependent) navigation and learning in young vs. older adults, and to assess a possible influence of gender. We recruited healthy participants without cognitice deficits on standard neuropsychological testing, white mater lesions or pronounced hippocampal atrophy: 24 young participants (18-26 yars old) and 44 older participants stratified as participants 60-70 years old (n = 24) and participants 71-84 years old (n = 20). All underwent spatial navigation testing in the real-space human analog of the Morris Water Maze, which has the advantage of assessing separately allocentric and egocentric navigation and learning. Of the eight consecutive trials, trials 2-8 were used to reduce bias by a rebound effect (more dramatic changes in performance between trials (p < 0.001), but not those 60-70 years old, showed deficits in allocentric navigation compared to the young participants. There were no differences in egocentric navigation. All theree groups showed spatial learning effect (p' s <= 0.01). There were no gender differences in spatial navigation and learning. Linear regression limited to older participants showed linear (beta = 0.30, p = 0.045) and quadratic (beta = 0.30, p = 0.046) effect of age on allocentric navigation. There was no effect of age on egocentric navigation. These results demonstrate that navigation deficits in older age may be limited to allocentric navigation, whereas egocentric navigation deficits in older age may be limited to allocentric navigation, pattern of spacial navigation impairment may help differentiate normal aging from prodromal Alzheimer's disease.
Formatted abstract
Older age is associated with changes in the brain, including the medial temporal lobe, which may result in mild spatial navigation deficits, especially in allocentric navigation. The aim of the study was to characterize the profile of real-space allocentric (world-centered, hippocampus-dependent) and egocentric (body-centered, parietal lobe dependent) navigation and learning in young vs. older adults, and to assess a possible influence of gender. We recruited healthy participants without cognitive deficits on standard neuropsychological testing, white matter lesions or pronounced hippocampal atrophy: 24 young participants (18–26 years old) and 44 older participants stratified as participants 60–70 years old (n = 24) and participants 71–84 years old (n = 20). All underwent spatial navigation testing in the real-space human analog of the Morris Water Maze, which has the advantage of assessing separately allocentric and egocentric navigation and learning. Of the eight consecutive trials, trials 2–8 were used to reduce bias by a rebound effect (more dramatic changes in performance between trials 1 and 2 relative to subsequent trials). The participants who were 71–84 years old (p < 0.001), but not those 60–70 years old, showed deficits in allocentric navigation compared to the young participants. There were no differences in egocentric navigation. All three groups showed spatial learning effect (p’ s ≤ 0.01). There were no gender differences in spatial navigation and learning. Linear regression limited to older participants showed linear (β = 0.30, p = 0.045) and quadratic (β = 0.30, p = 0.046) effect of age on allocentric navigation. There was no effect of age on egocentric navigation. These results demonstrate that navigation deficits in older age may be limited to allocentric navigation, whereas egocentric navigation and learning may remain preserved. This specific pattern of spatial navigation impairment may help differentiate normal aging from prodromal Alzheimer’s disease.
Keyword Spatial navigation
Aging
Allocentric navigation
Egocentric navigation
Spatial learning
Gender
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Grant ID 546113
CZ.1.05/1.1.00/02.0123
CZ.1.07/2.3.00/20.0117
00064203
699002
AV0Z50110509
RVO:67985823
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Queensland Brain Institute Publications
Official 2014 Collection
 
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