Journal article

Cortical thickness is linked to executive functioning in adulthood and aging

Burzynska A, Nagel I, Preuschhof C, Gluth S, B??ckman L, Li S, Lindenberger U, Heekeren H ...see all

Human Brain Mapping, vol. 33, issue 7 (2012) pp. 1607-1620

  • 119


    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 35


    Citations of this article.
  • N/A


    ScienceDirect users who have downloaded this article.
Sign in to save reference


Executive functions that are dependent upon the frontal-parietal network decline consider-ably during the course of normal aging. To delineate neuroanatomical correlates of age-related execu-tive impairment, we investigated the relation between cortical thickness and executive functioning in 73 younger (20–32 years) and 56 older (60–71 years) healthy adults. Executive functioning was assessed using the Wisconsin Card Sorting Test (WCST). Cortical thickness was measured at each location of the cortical mantle using surface-based segmentation procedures on high-resolution T1-weighted mag-netic resonance images. For regions involved in WCST performance, such as the lateral prefrontal and parietal cortices, we found that thicker cortex was related to higher accuracy. Follow-up ROI-based analyses revealed that these associations were stronger in older than in younger adults. Moreover, among older adults, high and low performers differed in cortical thickness within regions generally linked to WCST performance. Our results indicate that the structural cortical correlates of executive functioning largely overlap with previously identified functional patterns. We conclude that structural preservation of relevant brain regions is associated with higher levels of executive performance in old age, and underscore the need to consider the heterogeneity of brain aging in relation to cognitive func-tioning. Hum Brain Mapp 33:1607–1620,

Author-supplied keywords

  • Fronto-parietal network
  • Healthy aging
  • Lifespan
  • Parietal cortex
  • Performance level
  • Prefrontal cortex
  • Right DLPFC
  • Structure-function relationship
  • WCST

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document

Get full text


Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free