Towards the Understanding of Healthy and Pathological Aging Through MEG

  • Fernando MaestúEmail author
  • Elena Solesio-Jofre
  • Ricardo Bajo
Reference work entry


The study of healthy and pathological aging with magnetoencephalography (MEG) has become more widespread in recent years. This is mainly because it is providing a new perspective in the study of this disease. Its excellent temporal resolution allows the evaluation of functional networks in the frequency domain. These characteristics make MEG unique for the study of the organization of the neurophysiological mechanisms supporting cognitive capabilities in the aging brain. In this chapter, we will review MEG findings in normal and pathological aging. In normal aging, we will go through the mechanisms of forgetting and the assessment of the default mode network organization. In the field of pathological aging, the literature has mainly focused on Alzheimer’s Disease (AD). These studies assess sensory memory, short-term and long-term memory, indicating decreased activity and connectivity in AD patients but a dual pattern of increased/decreased functional connectivity at early stages such as mild cognitive impairment (MCI) or subjective cognitive decline (SCD). Finally, similar results have been found in an extensive literature using resting state recordings which characterize the brain networks of patients with dementia in a non-task context. All these topics will be discussed in the context of the literature of cognitive neuroscience of aging. Potential new approaches and recommendations for future research will be provided.


MEG Aging Mild cognitive impairment Alzheimer’s disease Memory loss Functional connectivity 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Fernando Maestú
    • 1
    • 2
    Email author
  • Elena Solesio-Jofre
    • 3
  • Ricardo Bajo
    • 1
  1. 1.Laboratory of Cognitive and Computational Neuroscience (UCM-UPM)Center for Biomedical TechnologyMadridSpain
  2. 2.Department of Experimental PsychologyComplutense University of MadridMadridSpain
  3. 3.Department of Biological and Health PsychologyUniversity Autónoma de MadridMadridSpain

Section editors and affiliations

  • Julia M. Stephen
    • 1
  1. 1.The Mind Research NetworkAlbuquerqueUSA

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