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Dev Cogn Neurosci. 2019 Feb 16;36:100626. doi: 10.1016/j.dcn.2019.100626. [Epub ahead of print]

Neurodevelopmental correlates of the emerging adult self.

Author information

1
Orygen, The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health, Parkville, Australia; Centre for Youth Mental Health, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Australia; Melbourne Neuropsychiatry Centre, Department of Psychiatry, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Australia. Electronic address: c.davey@unimelb.edu.au.
2
Monash Clinical and Imaging Neuroscience, School of Psychological Sciences, Monash University, Clayton, Australia; Monash Biomedical Imaging, Monash University, Clayton, Australia.
3
MRI Research Unit, Department of Radiology, Hospital del Mar, CIBERSAM G21, Barcelona, Spain.
4
QIMR Berghofer Medical Research Institute, Brisbane, Australia; Hunter Medical Research Institute, University of Newcastle, Newcastle, Australia.
5
Orygen, The National Centre of Excellence in Youth Mental Health, Parkville, Australia; Centre for Youth Mental Health, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Australia.
6
Melbourne Neuropsychiatry Centre, Department of Psychiatry, The University of Melbourne, Parkville, Australia.

Abstract

The self-concept - the set of beliefs that a person has about themselves - shows significant development from adolescence to early adulthood, in parallel with brain development over the same period. We sought to investigate how age-related changes in self-appraisal processes corresponded with brain network segregation and integration in healthy adolescents and young adults. We scanned 88 participants (46 female), aged from 15 to 25 years, as they performed a self-appraisal task. We first examined their patterns of activation to self-appraisal, and replicated prior reports of reduced dorsomedial prefrontal cortex activation with older age, with similar reductions in precuneus, right anterior insula/operculum, and a region extending from thalamus to striatum. We used independent component analysis to identify distinct anterior and posterior components of the default mode network (DMN), which were associated with the self-appraisal and rest-fixation parts of the task, respectively. Increasing age was associated with reduced functional connectivity between the two components. Finally, analyses of task-evoked interactions between pairs of nodes within the DMN identified a subnetwork that demonstrated reduced connectivity with increasing age. Decreased network integration within the DMN appears to be an important higher-order maturational process supporting the emerging adult self.

KEYWORDS:

Adolescent development; Connectivity; Default mode network; Functional MRI; Self

PMID:
30825815
DOI:
10.1016/j.dcn.2019.100626
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