The ability to navigate--to travel from one location to another--declines with normal aging and can be further affected by conditions such as vision loss and dementia. This study will test the effect of noninvasive brain stimulation on older adults' allocentric navigation, the use a mental map of the environment to navigate.
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Accepts Healthy Volunteers
Participants with Mild Cognitive Impairment
Two distinct memory systems interact during navigation. The first, allocentric navigation, uses spatial knowledge of key features or landmarks to develop and use a mental map of the environment. This approach involves brain regions that are critical for new learning and memory but decline with age. The second, egocentric navigation, relies on "habit" memories that link specific features with specific directions. This approach relies on brain regions that are critical for "automatic" responses and that are relatively unaffected by age. As people age, allocentric navigation declines, a change that increases the risk of becoming disoriented or lost, even in familiar areas.
The main goal of this project is to examine whether noninvasive brain stimulation, specifically transcranial direct current stimulation, can improve allocentric navigation in healthy older adults or those with MCI.
Participants will complete three functional MRI sessions while learning new environments. Before two of these sessions, older adults will receive brain stimulation that is designed to improve allocentric navigation. Results for older participants will be compared with those of healthy young participants to examine whether brain stimulation reduces age-related impairments in allocentric memory and associated brain functioning.
|Map Marker||City||State||Zip Code||Status||Primary Contact|
Geolocation is 42.2808256, -83.7430378
Department of Veterans Affairs
Benjamin M. Hampstead, PhD
Atlanta VA Medical and Rehab Center, Decatur
Justin F. Hartley