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Haupt, Marleen ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1683-8679; Ruiz-Rizzo, Adriana L. ORCID logoORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-1467-0745; Sorg, Christian and Finke, Kathrin (16. March 2020): Right-lateralized fronto-parietal network and phasic alertness in healthy aging. In: Scientific Reports, No. 10, 4823 [PDF, 1MB]


Phasic alerting cues temporarily increase the brain’s arousal state. In younger and older participants, visual processing speed in a whole report task, estimated based on the theory of visual attention, is higher in cue than no-cue conditions. The present study assessed whether older participants’ ability to profit from warning cues is related to intrinsic functional connectivity (iFC) in the cingulo-opercular and/or right fronto-parietal network. We acquired resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging data from 31 older participants. By combining an independent component analysis and dual regression, we investigated iFC in both networks. A voxel-wise multiple regression in older participants yielded that higher phasic alerting effects on visual processing speed were significantly related to lower right fronto-parietal network iFC. This result supports a particular role of the right fronto-parietal network in maintaining phasic alerting capabilities in aging. We then compared healthy older participants to a previously reported sample of healthy younger participants to assess whether behaviour-iFC relationships are age group specific. The comparison revealed that the association between phasic alerting and cingulo-opercular network iFC is significantly lower in older than in younger adults.

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