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Elsewhere or Blanked? Ongoing mental states are regulated by pupil-linked arousal and attentional style in healthy ageing
Koroma, Matthieu; Robert de Beauchamp, Aurèle; Mortaheb, Sepehr et al.
2023
 

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Keywords :
spontaneous thinking; mind-blanking; mind-wandering; attentional style; pupil size; aging
Abstract :
[en] Spontaneous thinking significantly relies on attention and arousal. As these cognitive faculties change with age, we aimed at providing a comprehensive account to ongoing mental states in seniors, testing how these are influenced by attentional control and arousal. Using experience sampling at rest, 20 senior (65-75yrs) and 20 young participants (20-30yrs) were prompted to report mind-wandering (MW), sensory-related thoughts (S), and the newly introduced state of mind blanking (MB). Attentional control was assessed with the Attentional Style Questionnaire, and arousal with continuous monitoring of pupil diameter. Both age groups showed equally high occurrences of MW compared to MB or S. For young responders, we replicated that MW was more prevalent in easily-distracted participants and that it associated with higher arousal. In seniors, though, MB was more prevalent in easily-distracted participants, and it was associated with higher arousal, reversing the pattern found in young adults and focused seniors. Overall, our results show that attentional control and arousal jointly regulate ongoing mental states in an age-dependent manner and uncover the presence a specific profile of ongoing mental state regulation in healthy aging, being a potentially critical marker of age-associated diseases.
Disciplines :
Neurosciences & behavior
Author, co-author :
Koroma, Matthieu  ;  Université de Liège - ULiège > Département des sciences cliniques
Robert de Beauchamp, Aurèle
Mortaheb, Sepehr  ;  Université de Liège - ULiège > Département des sciences cliniques
Boulakis, Paradeisios  ;  Université de Liège - ULiège > GIGA > GIGA CRC In vivo Imaging - Physiology of Cognition
Bastin, Christine  ;  Université de Liège - ULiège > GIGA > GIGA CRC In vivo Imaging - Aging & Memory
Demertzi, Athina  ;  Université de Liège - ULiège > Département des sciences cliniques
Language :
English
Title :
Elsewhere or Blanked? Ongoing mental states are regulated by pupil-linked arousal and attentional style in healthy ageing
Alternative titles :
[en] Age-dependent attentional style and pupil-linked arousal regulate the reportability of spontaneous mental states
Publication date :
24 April 2023
Publisher :
bioRχiv
Source :
Available on ORBi :
since 12 August 2022

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