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A major task of contemporary cognitive neuroscience of aging is to explain why episodic memory declines. Change in resting-state functional connectivity (rsFC) could be a mechanism accounting for reduced function. We addressed this through 3 studies. In study 1, 119 healthy participants (20-83 years) were followed for 3.5 years with verbal recall testing and magnetic resonance imaging. Independent of atrophy, recall change was related to change in rsFC in anatomically widespread areas. Striking age-effects were observed in that a positive relationship between rsFC and memory characterized older participants while a negative relationship was seen among the younger and middle-aged. This suggests that cognitive consequences of rsFC change are not stable across age. In study 2 and 3, the age-dependent differences in rsFC-memory relationship were replicated by use of a simulation model (study 2) and by a cross-sectional experimental recognition memory task (study 3). In conclusion, memory changes were related to altered rsFC in an age-dependent manner, and future research needs to detail the mechanisms behind age-varying relationships.

Original publication




Journal article


Neurobiol Aging

Publication Date





3255 - 3268


Aging, Atrophy, Default mode network, Episodic memory, Functional connectivity, Resting-state, Adult, Aged, Aged, 80 and over, Aging, Atrophy, Cerebral Cortex, Cognition, Cross-Sectional Studies, Female, Humans, Magnetic Resonance Imaging, Male, Memory, Episodic, Mental Recall, Middle Aged, Nerve Net, Neuropsychological Tests, Young Adult