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      Changes in structural and functional connectivity among resting-state networks across the human lifespan.

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          Abstract

          At rest, the brain's sensorimotor and higher cognitive systems engage in organized patterns of correlated activity forming resting-state networks. An important empirical question is how functional connectivity and structural connectivity within and between resting-state networks change with age. In this study we use network modeling techniques to identify significant changes in network organization across the human lifespan. The results of this study demonstrate that whole-brain functional and structural connectivity both exhibit reorganization with age. On average, functional connections within resting-state networks weaken in magnitude while connections between resting-state networks tend to increase. These changes can be localized to a small subset of functional connections that exhibit systematic changes across the lifespan. Collectively, changes in functional connectivity are also manifest at a system-wide level, as components of the control, default mode, saliency/ventral attention, dorsal attention, and visual networks become less functionally cohesive, as evidenced by decreased component modularity. Paralleling this functional reorganization is a decrease in the density and weight of anatomical white-matter connections. Hub regions are particularly affected by these changes, and the capacity of those regions to communicate with other regions exhibits a lifelong pattern of decline. Finally, the relationship between functional connectivity and structural connectivity also appears to change with age; functional connectivity along multi-step structural paths tends to be stronger in older subjects than in younger subjects. Overall, our analysis points to age-related changes in inter-regional communication unfolding within and between resting-state networks.

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          Author and article information

          Journal
          Neuroimage
          NeuroImage
          Elsevier BV
          1095-9572
          1053-8119
          Nov 15 2014
          : 102 Pt 2
          Affiliations
          [1 ] Psychological and Brain Sciences, Indiana University, Bloomington, USA.
          [2 ] Key Laboratory of Behavioral Science and Magnetic Resonance Imaging Research Center, Institute of Psychology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China.
          [3 ] Psychological and Brain Sciences, Indiana University, Bloomington, USA. Electronic address: osporns@indiana.edu.
          Article
          S1053-8119(14)00650-8
          10.1016/j.neuroimage.2014.07.067
          25109530
          9cfee7ad-21d9-4a82-b6b9-d7e798796f65
          Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

          Connectome, Functional connectivity, Lifespan, Modularity

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