Between-network functional connectivity is modified by age and cognitive task domain

Varangis Burns, Eleanna Martha; Razlighi, Qolamreza R.; Habeck, Christian G.; Fisher, Zachary; Stern, Yaakov

Research on the cognitive neuroscience of aging has identified myriad neurocognitive processes that are affected by the aging process, with a focus on identifying neural correlates of cognitive function in aging. This study aimed to test whether internetwork connectivity among six cognitive networks is sensitive to age-related changes in neural efficiency and cognitive functioning. A factor analytic connectivity approach was used to model network interactions during 11 cognitive tasks grouped into four primary cognitive domains: vocabulary, perceptual speed, fluid reasoning, and episodic memory. Results showed that both age and task domain were related to internetwork connectivity and that some of the connections among the networks were associated with performance on the in-scanner tasks. These findings demonstrate that internetwork connectivity among several cognitive networks is not only affected by aging and task demands but also shows a relationship with task performance. As such, future studies examining internetwork connectivity in aging should consider multiple networks and multiple task conditions to better measure dynamic patterns of network flexibility over the course of cognitive aging.


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Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience

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May 4, 2021