Relations among age, visual memory, and resting cerebral metabolism in 40 healthy men

James V. Haxby, Cheryl L. Grady, Ranjan Duara, Elizabeth Ann Robertson-Tchabo, Barbara Koziarz, Neal R. Cutler, Stanley I. Rapoport

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Visual memory, as measured by the Benton Visual Retention Test (BVRT), and resting regional cerebral metabolic rates for glucose (rCMRglc), as measured by positron emission tomography (PET) and [18-F]fluorodeoxyglucose, were examined in 40 very healthy men, aged 21 to 83 years. Age-related differences in visual memory were found but were significantly smaller than differences reported in the general population. This discrepancy is attributable to our rigorous health screening. The age-related differences found in this sample are estimates of the lower limit of population differences unconfounded by disease. Age-related differences on undistracted delayed visual memory were greater than differences on immediate visual memory, suggesting age-related differences in spontaneous elaborative visual information processing. No relation between visual memory and resting rCMRglc was found, supporting the hypothesis that mental abilities are unrelated to resting brain metabolism unless both functions are influenced by disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)412-427
Number of pages16
JournalBrain and Cognition
Issue number4
StatePublished - Oct 1986

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuropsychology and Physiological Psychology
  • Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Cognitive Neuroscience


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