Impact of aging brain circuits on cognition

Rachel D. Samson, Carol A. Barnes

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

130 Scopus citations


Brain networks that engage the hippocampus and prefrontal cortex are central for enabling effective interactions with our environment. Some of the cognitive processes that these structures mediate, such as encoding and retrieving episodic experience, wayfinding, working memory and attention are known to be altered across the lifespan. As illustrated by examples given below, there is remarkable consistency across species in the pattern of age-related neural and cognitive change observed in healthy humans and other animals. These include changes in cognitive operations that are known to be dependent on the hippocampus, as well as those requiring intact prefrontal cortical circuits. Certain cognitive constructs that reflect the function of these areas lend themselves to investigation across species, allowing brain mechanisms at different levels of analysis to be studied in greater depth.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1903-1915
Number of pages13
JournalEuropean Journal of Neuroscience
Issue number12
StatePublished - Jun 2013


  • Hippocampus
  • Prefrontal cortex
  • Spatial learning
  • Synapse
  • Working memory

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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