Resting-state slow wave power, healthy aging and cognitive performance

Sci Rep. 2014 May 29;4:5101. doi: 10.1038/srep05101.


Cognitive functions and spontaneous neural activity show significant changes over the life-span, but the interrelations between age, cognition and resting-state brain oscillations are not well understood. Here, we assessed performance on the Trail Making Test and resting-state magnetoencephalographic (MEG) recordings from 53 healthy adults (18-89 years old) to investigate associations between age-dependent changes in spontaneous oscillatory activity and cognitive performance. Results show that healthy aging is accompanied by a marked and linear decrease of resting-state activity in the slow frequency range (0.5-6.5 Hz). The effects of slow wave power on cognitive performance were expressed as interactions with age: For older (>54 years), but not younger participants, enhanced delta and theta power in temporal and central regions was positively associated with perceptual speed and executive functioning. Consistent with previous work, these findings substantiate further the important role of slow wave oscillations in neurocognitive function during healthy aging.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Cognition / physiology*
  • Female
  • Healthy Volunteers
  • Humans
  • Magnetoencephalography*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged