Graduation Date

Spring 5-4-2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)


Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Biomedical Sciences

First Advisor

Tony Wilson

Second Advisor

Pam May-Weeks


Worldwide economic and medical improvements have led to profound demographic shifts towards an older overall population. Unfortunately, with older age comes a variety of neurological changes which act to decrease individual quality of life and independence. Since the advent of functional neuroimaging, investigation of age-related changes in neural activity has been of particular interest. However, changes in population-level neural dynamics with age remain poorly characterized. Herein, we utilized magnetoencephalography (MEG), comprehensive neuropsychological assessments, and advanced analytical techniques to investigate spectrally-specific changes in neural oscillatory activity in a healthy aging population. First, we examined age-related deficiencies in visual processing using a well-established visual entrainment paradigm (Chapter 1). Next, we used a more complex visual grating paradigm to allow us to characterize age-related changes in visual gamma oscillations, as well as how these changes relate to individual processing speed (Chapter 2). Finally, we extended our investigation into higher-order cognition by utilizing a Sternberg working memory paradigm (Chapter 3). Overall, these results provide novel insights into the oscillatory underpinnings of age-related changes in cognition and serve as a foundation for future research into oscillatory deficits in patients affected by neuropsychological disorders which are prevalent in older individuals (e.g., Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Dementia with Lewy Bodies).


2024 Copyright, the authors

Available for download on Tuesday, September 10, 2024

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