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PLoS One. 2012;7(9):e44067. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0044067. Epub 2012 Sep 11.

Intrinsic brain connectivity related to age in young and middle aged adults.

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Department of Diagnostic Radiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Connecticut, United States of America.


Age-related variations in resting state connectivity of the human brain were examined from young adulthood through middle age. A voxel-based network measure, degree, was used to assess age-related differences in tissue connectivity throughout the brain. Increases in connectivity with age were found in paralimbic cortical and subcortical regions. Decreases in connectivity were found in cortical regions, including visual areas and the default mode network. These findings differ from those of recent developmental studies examining earlier growth trajectories, and are consistent with known changes in cognitive function and emotional processing during mature aging. The results support and extend previous findings that relied on a priori definitions of regions of interest for their analyses. This approach of applying a voxel-based measure to examine the functional connectivity of individual tissue elements over time, without the need for a priori region of interest definitions, provides an important new tool in brain science.

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