Gray matter correlates of set-shifting among neurodegenerative disease, mild cognitive impairment, and healthy older adults

Judy Pa, Katherine L. Possin, Stephen M. Wilson, Lovingly C. Quitania, Joel H. Kramer, Adam L. Boxer, Michael W. Weiner, Julene K. Johnson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

46 Scopus citations

Abstract

There is increasing recognition that set-shifting, a form of cognitive control, is mediated by different neural structures. However, these regions have not yet been carefully identified as many studies do not account for the influence of component processes (e.g., motor speed). We investigated gray matter correlates of set-shifting while controlling for component processes. Using the Design Fluency (DF), Trail Making Test (TMT), and Color Word Interference (CWI) subtests from the Delis-Kaplan Executive Function System (D-KEFS), we investigated the correlation between set-shifting performance and gray matter volume in 160 subjects with neurodegenerative disease, mild cognitive impairment, and healthy older adults using voxel-based morphometry. All three set-shifting tasks correlated with multiple, widespread gray matter regions. After controlling for the component processes, set-shifting performance correlated with focal regions in prefrontal and posterior parietal cortices. We also identified bilateral prefrontal cortex and the right posterior parietal lobe as common sites for set-shifting across the three tasks. There was a high degree of multicollinearity between the set-shifting conditions and the component processes of TMT and CWI, suggesting DF may better isolate set-shifting regions. Overall, these findings highlight the neuroanatomical correlates of set-shifting and the importance of controlling for component processes when investigating complex cognitive tasks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)640-650
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of the International Neuropsychological Society
Volume16
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2010

Keywords

  • Color word interference
  • D-KEFS
  • Design fluency
  • Executive function
  • Trail making test
  • Voxel-based morphometry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Clinical Psychology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Psychiatry and Mental health

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