Slide Slam Q8
The Aging Brain Cohort (ABC@UofSC) Repository: A multimodal database to study language and cognition across the lifespan
Roger Newman-Norlund1, Sarah Newman-Norlund1, Sara Sayers1, Samaneh Nemati1, Nicholas Riccardi2, Sarah Wilson3, Chris Rorden2, Julius Fridriksson1; 1University of South Carolina, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, 2University of South Carolina, Department of Psychology, 3University of South Carolina, Linguistics Program
Introduction: The Aging Brain Cohort at the University of South Carolina (ABC@UofSC) repository is a multimodal database derived from a planned, large-scale longitudinal and cross-sectional study of aging. In addition to genetic, behavioral/lifestyle and brain structure/function data, each participant completes a comprehensive cognitive battery which includes a wide range of language tasks not typically included in large scale studies of aging (e.g. multiple discourse tasks, sentence repetition, etc.). The ABC@UofSC database allows collaborating researchers to examine age-related changes in language processing, as well as their relationship to biological measures, with unprecedented ease and depth. Methods: Following collection of basic demographic data, participants are invited to complete a series of online questionnaires that assess medical history, mental and physical health, exercise and sleep patterns, quality of life, and various social factors. The first day of in-person testing involves collection of cognitive and sensory data, via the iPad version of the NIH Toolbox, as well as a series of language-related tasks that includes sentence repetition, phonological processing, self-paced reading, discourse (i.e. ‘Cat Rescue’, ‘Cookie Theft’, ‘Peer Conflict Resolution’ scenarios), vowel production, spatial release, words in noise and basic audiometric thresholds. The first day concludes with the collection of biological specimens (blood and buccal swabs) and resting-state electroencephlographic (EEG) data. The second day of testing involves collection of MRI data at the McCausland Center for Brain imaging. Specifically, brain structure (T1, T2, DTI) and brain function (resting state fMRI, task-based fMRI [word/picture familiarity judgment and listening English and non-English narratives] are measured using cutting-edge MRI sequences. Results: Currently the ABC@UofSC repository contains data from 65 healthy older adults (ages 60-80) as well as 100 additional individuals (ages 20-80) who were diagnosed with COVID-19. Sociodemographic data, along with data from all surveys, questionnaires and cognitive/language measures are stored in REDCap (Research Electronic Data Capture System). Both raw scores (e.g. ‘Cat Rescue’ transcripts) as well as derived scores (e.g. ‘Cat Rescue’ : duration, mean lexical units/utterance, type-token ratio, content words/minute, verbs/utterance, % word errors, total utterance errors, propositional density, total fillers, total false starts, total retracings, total repetitions, total pauses , fluency factor, semantic factor, CIU, etc.) are available upon request. EEG connectivity data is provided in the form of a 54-electrode connectivity matrix. Neuroimaging data is distributed in the form of custom MATLAB files which include ROI-based data for multiple imaging modalities (e.g. DTI-FA, DTI-MD, DTI connectivity, rsFMRI connectivity, Cat12-based VBM value, and publicly available free tools enable rapid testing of brain-behavior relationships (i.e. NiiStat). Currently, access to deidentified data is available to collaborating researchers and can be requested electronically via the REDCap link on the ABC@UofSC website (abc.sc.edu). Discussion: Healthy aging is associated with changes in language processing. The ABC@UofSC repository contains a wealth of data that will allow researchers to examine the relationship between age-related changes in language and a variety of other behavioral, cognitive and biological factors.