Neural correlates of true and false memory in mild cognitive impairment
Sweeney-Reed, C. M., Riddell, P. M., Ellis, J. A., Freeman , J. E. and Nasuto, S. J. (2012) Neural correlates of true and false memory in mild cognitive impairment. PLoS ONE, 7 (10). e48357. ISSN 1932-6203
To link to this article DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0048357
The goal of this research was to investigate the changes in neural processing in mild cognitive impairment. We measured phase synchrony, amplitudes, and event-related potentials in veridical and false memory to determine whether these differed in participants with mild cognitive impairment compared with typical, age-matched controls. Empirical mode decomposition phase locking analysis was used to assess synchrony, which is the first time this analysis technique has been applied in a complex cognitive task such as memory processing. The technique allowed assessment of changes in frontal and parietal cortex connectivity over time during a memory task, without a priori selection of frequency ranges, which has been shown previously to influence synchrony detection. Phase synchrony differed significantly in its timing and degree between participant groups in the theta and alpha frequency ranges. Timing differences suggested greater dependence on gist memory in the presence of mild cognitive impairment. The group with mild cognitive impairment had significantly more frontal theta phase locking than the controls in the absence of a significant behavioural difference in the task, providing new evidence for compensatory processing in the former group. Both groups showed greater frontal phase locking during false than true memory, suggesting increased searching when no actual memory trace was found. Significant inter-group differences in frontal alpha phase locking provided support for a role for lower and upper alpha oscillations in memory processing. Finally, fronto-parietal interaction was significantly reduced in the group with mild cognitive impairment, supporting the notion that mild cognitive impairment could represent an early stage in Alzheimer’s disease, which has been described as a ‘disconnection syndrome’.