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Neuroimage. 2019 Oct 1;199:87-92. doi: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2019.05.058. Epub 2019 May 23.

Neural evidence for long-term marriage shaping the functional brain network organization between couples.

Author information

1
Department of Imaging and Interventional Radiology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, NT, Hong Kong SAR; Research Center for Medical Image Computing, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, NT, Hong Kong SAR; BrainNow Research Institute, Hong Kong Science and Technology Park, Hong Kong SAR.
2
Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, NT, Hong Kong SAR.
3
Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, NT, Hong Kong SAR; Department of Health and Physical Education, The Education University of Hong Kong, Taipo, NT, Hong Kong SAR.
4
Department of Imaging and Interventional Radiology, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, NT, Hong Kong SAR.
5
School of Medicine, Western Sydney University, Campbelltown, New South Wales, Australia.
6
Centre for Biomedical Engineering and School of Electrical & Electronic Engineering, University of Adelaide, South Australia, Australia.
7
Research Center for Medical Image Computing, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, NT, Hong Kong SAR; Beijing Advanced Innovation Center for Big Data-Based Precision Medicine, Beihang University, Beijing, China; School of Instrumentation Science and Opto-electronics Engineering, Beihang University, Beijing, China. Electronic address: dfwang@buaa.edu.cn.
8
Department of Medicine and Therapeutics, The Chinese University of Hong Kong, Shatin, NT, Hong Kong SAR. Electronic address: vctmok@cuhk.edu.hk.

Abstract

Long-term married couples have been reported to share personality and behavioural similarities, but whether long-term marriage would shape the brain is hitherto unknown. In this study, 35 pairs of long-term married couples, who have married and living together at least 30 years, were recruited, and resting state functional magnetic resonance imaging was used to examine the neural correlates of long-term marriage between couples. Seven intrinsic connectivity networks were extracted using spatially constrained group independent component analysis, and the spatial similarity of each network as well as functional connectome similarity between couples were investigated respectively. The significant spatial similarities in the salience and frontoparietal networks as well as marginally significant connectome similarity were observed in long-term married couples. In addition, the marital duration showed a significantly positive correlation with the spatial similarity in the frontoparietal network and connectome similarity. The results provide objective evidence that long-term marriage would shape brain network organization, and the combination of initial personality traits and long-term common experience of the couples may be potential factors that account for similar brain network organizations between couples.

KEYWORDS:

Brain similarity; Frontoparietal network; Functional MRI; Functional connectivity; Long-term marriage; Salience network

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