Multivariate patterns of brain-behavior associations across the adult lifespan

Gaelle E. Doucet, Noah Hamlin, Anna West, Jordanna A. Kruse, Dominik A. Moser, Tony W. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


The nature of brain-behavior covariations with increasing age is poorly understood. In the current study, we used a multivariate approach to investigate the covariation between behavioral-health variables and brain features across adulthood. We recruited healthy adults aged 20-73 years-old (29 younger, mean age = 25.6 years; 30 older, mean age = 62.5 years), and collected structural and functional MRI (s/fMRI) during a restingstate and three tasks. From the sMRI, we extracted cortical thickness and subcortical volumes; from the fMRI, we extracted activation peaks and functional network connectivity (FNC) for each task. We conducted canonical correlation analyses between behavioral-health variables and the sMRI, or the fMRI variables, across all participants. We found significant covariations for both types of neuroimaging phenotypes (ps = 0.0004) across all individuals, with cognitive capacity and age being the largest opposite contributors. We further identified different variables contributing to the models across phenotypes and age groups. Particularly, we found behavior was associated with different neuroimaging patterns between the younger and older groups. Higher cognitive capacity was supported by activation and FNC within the executive networks in the younger adults, while it was supported by the visual networks' FNC in the older adults. This study highlights how the brainbehavior covariations vary across adulthood and provides further support that cognitive performance relies on regional recruitment that differs between older and younger individuals.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)161-194
Number of pages34
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2022


  • MRI
  • brain networks
  • healthy aging
  • higher-order cognition
  • multivariate analyses

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Cell Biology


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