Evidence for an Association between Allostatic Load and Multisensory Integration in Middle-Aged and Older Adults
41 Pages Posted: 20 Jan 2023
Multisensory integration, the ability of the brain to integrate information from different sensory modalities, is critical for responding to environmental stimuli. While older adults show changes in multisensory integration with age, the impact of allostatic load (AL) (i.e., the effect of exposure to chronic stress, which can accelerate ageing) on multisensory perception remains understudied. We explored the relationship between multisensory integration and AL in 1,358 adults aged 50+ from The Irish Longitudinal Study on Ageing by performing a Sound Induced Flash Illusion (SIFI) task at multiple audio-visual temporal asynchronies. The AL score was created using a battery of biomarkers representing the activity of four major physiological systems: immunological, cardiovascular, metabolic, and renal. We analysed the accuracy to illusion trials of a SIFI task with generalised logistic mixed effects regression models, adjusted for a number of covariates. Observation of cross-sectional and longitudinal results revealed that lower accuracy in integration (i.e., higher SIFI susceptibility with larger temporal asynchronies) was associated with AL. This confirmed the distinct patterns of multisensory integration in ageing.
Funding Information: This work was supported by the Health Research Board (HRB); Grant reference ILP-PHR-2017-014.
Declaration of Interests: The authors declare that they have no known competing financial interests or personal relationships that could have appeared to influence the work reported in this paper
Ethics Approval Statement: The Trinity College Faculty of Health Sciences Ethics Committee approved the study, the testing procedures conformed with the Helsinki Declaration, and data collection, storage, and processing were in accordance with GDPR. All participants provided written, informed consent at wave 1 and wave 3.
Keywords: ageing, allostatic load, Multisensory, Sound-induced flash illusion, Audiovisual
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