CCN meeting | Thomas Hinault (Caen University, France)

12-02-2020 from 15:00 to 16:00
Henri Dunantlaan 2, room 4.2
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Age-related individual differences in structural integrity and time-varying network connectivity

While there is an overall decline in cognitive functioning with age, some individuals maintain similar cognitive performance to that of young adults, while others become impaired. I will discuss how small differences in white matter (WM) integrity influence individual differences in the maintenance and updating of both resting-state and task-related networks over time.
EEG was recorded while young and healthy older participants performed a task specifically designed to engage working memory and inhibitory processes, and the association between functional activity and WM tract integrity was assessed. Source reconstruction was cortically constrained to anatomical data. Graph theory analyses were applied for each frequency band over sliding time windows to study age effects on dynamic frequency-specific networks and their association with the integrity of the underlying structural network. We also relied on the CAMCAN (CAMbridge Centre for Ageing and Neuroscience) dataset to combine DTI and MEG data and investigate the spatial and oscillatory characteristics of resting-state brain networks.
With age, alterations of the structural network were associated with a reduced maintenance of the modular organization of functional networks, delayed task-related effects, and larger variability across time windows. These effects were mainly observed in the alpha and gamma bands. Altered network modularity was also associated with declined working memory performance during aging. By applying network analyses to MEG/EEG source and DTI tract-specific integrity, new insights can be obtained on how the variability of white matter alterations underlies age-related changes of functional network integrity and cognitive performance.