Date of Award:

1984

Document Type:

Dissertation

Degree Name:

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Department:

Psychology

Advisor/Chair:

William R. Dobson

Abstract

Age and gender differences in CNS information processing were investigated with EEG measures of power spectral analysis and cortical coupling , and evoked potential measures of brainstem auditory evoked potentials (BAEPs), visual evoked potentials (VEPs), pattern reversal evoked potentials (PREPs) , and P300 evoked potentials . Eighty normal volunteers comprised four subgroups of 20 subjects: young females and young males (25-35 years); old females and old males (55-70 years).

Trends were generally consistent across evoked potential measures: women and young people produced faster latency responses; females and oldsters produced larger amplitude responses. Old age was associated with reduced variability of electrophysiological responding across recording sites. Significant age and gender findings may be related to CNS excitatory /inhibitory equilibrium. Females and oldsters reportedly experience reduction of some neurotransmitters believed to be inhibitory in function. Furthermore, old age is accompanied by neuropathological changes which could result in heightened CNS excitability.

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Included in

Psychology Commons

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