Brain Network Correlates of Emotional Aging

Youngwook Lyoo, Sujung Yoon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations

Abstract

Physical and cognitive functions typically decline with aging while emotional stability is relatively conserved. The current proof-of-concept study is the first to report of the brain mechanisms underlying emotional aging from a brain network perspective. Two hundred eighty-six healthy subjects aged 20-65 were classified into three groups of the emotionally young, intermediate-Aged, and old (E-young, E-intermediate, and E-old, respectively) based on the cluster analysis of the emotion recognition task data. As subjects get emotionally older, performance on happiness recognition improved, while that on recognition of negative emotions declined. On the brain network side, there was a significant linear decreasing trend in intra-network functional connectivity of the visual and sensorimotor networks with emotional aging (E-young > E-intermediate > E-old) as well as chronological aging (C-young > C-intermediate > C-old). Intra-network functional connectivity of the executive control network (ECN), however, steadily increased with emotional aging (E-young < E-intermediate < E-old) but not with chronological aging. Furthermore, the inter-network functional connections between the ECN and default mode network were also greater in the E-old group relative to the E-young group. This suggests that the top-down integration of self-referential information during emotional processing becomes stronger as people get emotionally older.

Original languageEnglish
Article number15576
JournalScientific Reports
Volume7
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Dec 2017

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