Steady-state visual evoked potential temporal dynamics reveal correlates of cognitive decline

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

OBJECTIVE: A central concern in aging is the preservation of cognitive skills. Tools to detect cognitive decline are sparse. The aim of this study was to ascertain whether cognitive decline is accompanied by alterations in the temporal dynamics of steady-state visual evoked potentials (SSVEPs).

METHODS: We included 162 men from the Danish Metropolit birth cohort. Their cognitive trajectory was based on their intelligence test score at youth (age ~18), middle age (age ~56), and late middle age (age ~62). Subjects underwent cognitive tests and steady-state visual stimulation. Temporal dynamics of SSVEPs were assessed in terms of amplitude and phase coherence.

RESULTS: The latency and magnitude of the amplitude modulation of the 36-Hz response correlated negatively with subjects' cognition indices. Furthermore, negative cognition index was associated with loss of SSVEPs at 36 Hz, and both 8 Hz and 36 Hz in severe cases.

CONCLUSION: Latency and magnitude of gamma frequency SSVEPs increase with cognitive decline. This suggests that the facilitation of SSVEPs first becomes problematic at gamma frequencies, then at alpha frequencies.

SIGNIFICANCE: Our data suggests that the temporal dynamics of SSVEPs can be used as an indicator of cognitive impairment. Furthermore, evoked gamma oscillations are especially vulnerable in cognitive decline.

Original languageEnglish
JournalClinical neurophysiology : official journal of the International Federation of Clinical Neurophysiology
Issue number4
Pages (from-to)836-846
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2020

ID: 236602343