Resting-state anticorrelations between medial and lateral prefrontal cortex: Association with working memory, aging, and individual differences

Joseph B. Keller, Trey Hedden, Todd W. Thompson, Sheeba A. Anteraper, John D.E. Gabrieli, Susan Whitfield-Gabrieli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

164 Scopus citations

Abstract

We examined how variation in working memory (WM) capacity due to aging or individual differences among young adults is associated with intrinsic or resting-state anticorrelations, particularly between (1) the medial prefrontal cortex (MPFC), a component of the default-mode network (DMN) that typically decreases in activation during external, attention-demanding tasks, and (2) the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (DLPFC), a component of the fronto-parietal control network that supports executive functions and WM and typically increases in activation during attention-demanding tasks. We compared the magnitudes of MPFC-DLPFC anticorrelations between healthy younger and older participants (Experiment 1) and related the magnitudes of these anticorrelations to individual differences on two behavioral measures of WM capacity in two independent groups of young adults (Experiments 1 and 2). Relative to younger adults, older adults exhibited reductions in WM capacity and in MPFC-DLPFC anticorrelations. Within younger adults, greater MPFC-DLPFC anticorrelation at rest correlated with greater WM capacity. These findings show that variation in MPFC-DLPFC anticorrelations, whether related to aging or to individual differences, may reflect an intrinsic functional brain architecture supportive of WM capacity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)271-280
Number of pages10
JournalCortex
Volume64
DOIs
StatePublished - 1 Mar 2015
Externally publishedYes

Keywords

  • Aging
  • Default mode network
  • Functional connectivity
  • Resting-state fMRI
  • Working memory

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