There has been a recent proliferation of functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) studies that interpret between-group or within-group differences in brain response patterns as evidence for compensatory neural recruitment. However, it is currently a challenge to determine whether these observed differences are truly attributable to compensatory neural recruitment or whether they are indicative of some other cognitive or physiological process. Therefore, the need for a standardized set of criteria for interpreting whether differences in brain response patterns are compensatory in nature is great. Focusing on studies of aging and potentially prodromal Alzheimer’s disease conditions (genetic risk, mild cognitive impairment), we critically review the functional neuroimaging literature purporting evidence for compensatory neural recruitment. Finally, we end with a comprehensive model set of criteria for ascertaining the degree to which a ‘compensatory’ interpretation may be supported. This proposed model addresses significant brain region, activation pattern, and behavioral performance considerations, and is therefore termed the Region-Activation-Performance model (RAP model).
© 2008 S. Karger AG, Basel
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Functional magnetic resonance imaging
- Functional neuroimaging
- Region-Activation-Performance model (RAP model)
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S. Duke Han, PhD
Department of Psychology
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Accepted: October 1, 2008
Published online: December 16, 2008
Number of Print Pages : 10
Number of Figures : 1, Number of Tables : 0, Number of References : 60
Dementia and Geriatric Cognitive Disorders
Vol. 27, No. 1, Year 2009 (Cover Date: February 2009)
Journal Editor: Chan-Palay V. (New York, N.Y.)
ISSN: 1420-8008 (Print), eISSN: 1421-9824 (Online)
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