Journals of Gerontology Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences, Vol 52, Issue 1 P54-P61, Copyright © 1997 by The Gerontological Society of America
Face and word memory differences are related to patterns of right and left lateral ventricle size in healthy aging
A Berardi, JV Haxby, C De Carli and MB Schapiro
Harvard University, Department of Psychology, Cambridge, MA 02138, USA. [email protected]
Discrepancy between face word memory was measured with experimental
continuous recognition tests and compared with right-left asymmetry of
lateral ventricle size, measured with volumetric x-ray computed tomography,
in 10 young and in 10 elderly subjects. All were right- handed and healthy.
Old subjects differed significantly from young subjects on face but not
word memory. Old subjects had significantly larger lateral ventricles than
did young subjects and more lateral ventricle asymmetry. No group trend
toward disproportionate age-related enlargement of the right ventricle
relative to the left was noted. In old subjects, however, lateral ventricle
asymmetry correlated with face- word memory discrepancies in the expected
direction, worse word than face memory being associated with
disproportionate enlargement of the left lateral ventricle. These
correlations were not significant in young subjects. These results suggest
that the group trend toward disproportionate nonverbal/visual, as opposed
to verbal, age-related memory differences is not associated with a group
trend toward disproportionate enlargement of the right ventricle.
Individual deviations from the normative pattern of age-related ventricle
enlargement, however, are associated with different patterns of
material-specific memory changes.