Multisensory perception might provide an important marker of brain function in aging. However, the cortical structures supporting multisensory perception in aging are poorly understood. In this study, we compared regional gray matter volume in a group of middle-aged (n = 101; 49–64 years) and older (n = 116; 71–87 years) adults from The Irish Longitudinal Study on Aging using voxel-based morphometry. Participants completed a measure of multisensory integration, the sound-induced flash illusion, and were grouped as per their illusion susceptibility. A significant interaction was observed in the right angular gyrus; in the middle-aged group, larger gray matter volume corresponded to stronger illusion perception while in older adults larger gray matter corresponded to less illusion susceptibility. This interaction remained significant even when controlling for a range of demographic, sensory, cognitive, and health variables. These findings show that multisensory integration is associated with specific structural differences in the aging brain and highlight the angular gyrus as a possible “cross-modal hub” associated with age-related change in multisensory perception.
|Journal||Neurobiology of Aging|
|Early online date||25 Dec 2020|
|Publication status||Published - 01 Apr 2021|
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by the Health Research Board (HRB), Ireland ; Grant references ILP-PHR-2017-014 and HRA-PHR-2014-667 . Funding for The Irish Longitudinal Study on Aging (TILDA) is provided by the Irish Government, the Health Research Board (HRB), The Atlantic Philanthropies, and the Irish Life PLC. Funders played no role in the design, execution, analysis, interpretation of data, or writing of this research. The authors would like to acknowledge the continued commitment and cooperation of the TILDA participants and research team. MRI data collection was supported by the National Center for Advanced Medical Imaging (CAMI).
© 2020 The Author(s)
Copyright 2021 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.
- Gray matter volume
- Sound-Induced Flash illusion
- Voxel-based morphometry
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Developmental Biology
- Geriatrics and Gerontology