Preserved neural event segmentation in healthy older adults

Christopher A. Kurby, Jeffrey M. Zacks

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

21 Scopus citations


An important feature of action understanding is that comprehenders segment the perceptual stream into events. Event segmentation dynamically engages a network of brain regions that likely play a role in how events are encoded. Here, in a sample of older adults, we assessed the relationship between changes in brain dynamics during movie watching and event understanding performance. Forty healthy older adults and a comparison sample of 12 younger adults passively viewed short movies of everyday activities while their brain activity was measured with fMRI. Afterward, they segmented the movies into events and performed memory tasks for movie content. The older adults engaged a similar event segmentation network during movie watching as the younger adults. Individual differences analyses revealed that although behavioral measures of event segmentation predicted memory, activity in the segmentation network did not. Intersubject correlation analyses revealed that normative brain dynamics during viewing in the right posterior temporal sulcus and left dorsolateral prefrontal cortex predicted better segmentation performance. These data suggest that these regions play an important role in event understanding, and also that the event segmentation network is preserved in healthy aging.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)232-245
Number of pages14
JournalPsychology and Aging
Issue number2
StatePublished - Mar 2018


  • Cognitive aging
  • Event memory
  • Event segmentation
  • FMRI
  • Neural synchrony


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