Sexual Dimorphism of Resting-State Network Connectivity in Healthy Ageing

Sharna Jamadar, Francesco Sforazzini, Parnesh Raniga, Nicholas J. Ferris, Bryan Paton, Michael J. Bailey, Amy Brodtmann, Paul A. Yates, Geoffrey A. Donnan, Stephanie A. Ward, Robyn L. Woods, Elsdon Storey, John J. McNeil, Gary F. Egan, on behalf of the ASPREE Investigator Group

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17 Citations (Scopus)


OBJECTIVES: The onset of many illnesses is confounded with age and sex. Increasing age is a risk factor for the development of many illnesses, and sexual dimorphism influences brain anatomy, function, and cognition. Here, we examine frequency-specific connectivity in resting-state networks in a large sample (n = 406) of healthy aged adults. METHOD: We quantify frequency-specific connectivity in three resting-state networks known to be implicated in age-related decline: the default mode, dorsal attention, and salience networks, using multiband functional magnetic resonance imaging. Frequency-specific connectivity was quantified in four bands: low (0.015-0.027 Hz), moderately low (0.027-0.073 Hz), moderately high (0.073-0.198 Hz), and high (0.198-0.5 Hz) frequency bands, using mean intensity and spatial extent. Differences in connectivity between the sexes in each of the three networks were examined. RESULTS: Each network showed the largest intensity and spatial extent at low frequencies and smallest extent at high frequencies. Males showed greater connectivity than females in the salience network. Females showed greater connectivity than males in the default mode network. DISCUSSION: Results in this healthy aged cohort are compatible with those obtained in young samples, suggesting that frequency-specific connectivity, and differences between the sexes, are maintained into older age. Our results indicate that sex should be considered as an influencing factor in studies of resting-state connectivity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1121-1131
Number of pages11
JournalJournals of Gerontology - Series B: Psychological Sciences and Social Sciences
Issue number7
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019


  • functional connectivity
  • fMRI
  • multiband fMRI
  • sex
  • resting-state

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