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PLOS Science Wednesday: Hi Reddit, we’re Ben and Liz and we found age substantially impacts cognitive processing, indicating our method is useful for examining individual age-related differences in brain function – Ask Us Anything!
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Hey Reddit, I’m Liz Davison, a graduate student at Princeton University in the Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering Department. My research centers on development and application of analytical and computational methods from network science and engineering to study complex dynamical systems, including the human brain. And I’m Ben Turner, and I’m a postdoctoral researcher in cognitive neuroscience at the University of California, Santa Barbara. My research focuses on using functional magnetic resonance imaging to better understand human memory. We recently published a paper titled “Individual Differences in Dynamic Functional Brain Connectivity Structure Across the Lifespan” in PLOS Computational Biology. This paper applied a method for characterizing how connections between brain regions change together over time (see our earlier article published in PLOS Computational Biology to a group of people including young and older adults. Using different methods, other researchers have shown that the neural activity in parts of the brain that belong to the same “network” in young adults tends to become less similar by older adulthood. Our results extend this previous result by showing that when brain regions are put in groups based on how their connections change together over time, older adults have a larger number of groups relative to young adults, indicating less-cohesive changes in connectivity. We’ll be here at 1pm to answer your questions – Ask Us Anything! And feel free to follow Ben on Twitter @neurobot01.