Influence of age and cognitive performance on resting-state brain networks of older adults in a population-based cohort

Christiane Jockwitz, Svenja Caspers*, Silke Lux, Simon B. Eickhoff, Kerstin Jütten, Stefan Lenzen, Susanne Moebus, Noreen Pundt, Andrew Reid, Felix Hoffstaedter, Karl Heinz Jöckel, Raimund Erbel, Sven Cichon, Markus M. Nöthen, N. Jon Shah, Karl Zilles, Katrin Amunts

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

45 Citations (Scopus)


Aging leads to global changes in brain structure and cognitive performance, with reorganization of functional brain networks. Importantly, these age-related changes show higher inter-individual variability in older subjects. To particularly address this variability is a challenge for studies on lifetime trajectories from early to late adulthood. The present study therefore had a dedicated focus on late adulthood to characterize the functional connectivity in resting-state networks (RSFC) in relation to age and cognitive performance in 711 older adults (55–85 years) from the 1000BRAINS project. The executive, left and right frontoparietal resting-state (RS) networks showed age-related increases in RSFC. However, older adults did not show changes in RSFC in the default mode network (DMN). Furthermore, lower performance in working memory (WM) was associated with higher RSFC in the left frontoparietal RS network. The results suggest age-related compensatory increases in RSFC which might help to maintain cognitive performance. Nevertheless, the negative correlation between RSFC and WM performance hints at limited cognitive reserve capacity in lower performing older adults. Consequently, the current results provide evidence for a functional reorganization of the brain until late adulthood that might additionally explain parts of the variability of cognitive abilities in older adults.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-44
Number of pages17
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Aging
  • Cognition
  • Functional connectivity
  • ICA
  • Resting state


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