According to the inhibition deficit hypothesis, the ability to inhibit unwanted or irrelevant thoughts and behaviors decreases with age, which can have a significant impact on cognitive and emotional processing. However, studies examining inhibition and age have shown mixed results, with some studies finding a decrease in inhibitory control as individuals age, while others have found no relationship. The goal of this proof-of-concept study was to examine the underlying neural mechanisms that may explain why some older adults are better than others at inhibitory control by investigating the relationship between resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC) of the salience network, a network critical for detecting and focusing attention toward relevant stimuli while ignoring irrelevant information in the environment, and a behavioral measure of inhibitory control (Stroop Task interference score) in a sample of 65 healthy older individuals (ages 65+). Results revealed no direct effect of age on Stroop performance; however, there was an indirect effect of age on Stroop performance through rsFC. These results suggest that rsFC of the salience network may be an important factor to consider when it comes to understanding individual differences in inhibitory control behavior among older adults.
Brewster, B. M., Pasqualini, M. S., & Martin, L. E. (2022). Functional Brain Connectivity and Inhibitory Control in Older Adults: A Preliminary Study. Frontiers in aging neuroscience, 14, 763494. https://doi.org/10.3389/fnagi.2022.763494