Stability of default-mode network activity in the aging brain

L. L. Beason-Held, M. A. Kraut, S. M. Resnick

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Activity attributed to the default-mode occurs during the resting state and is thought to represent self-referential and other intrinsic processes. Although activity in default-associated regions changes across the lifespan, little is known about the stability of default-mode activity in the healthy aging brain. We investigated changes in rest-specific activity across an 8 year period in older participants in the Baltimore Longitudinal Study of Aging (BLSA) neuroimaging study. Comparison of resting-state and recognition memory PET regional cerebral blood flow conditions from baseline and 8-year follow-up shows relative stability of rest-specific activity over time in medial frontal/anterior cingulate, hippocampal and posterior cingulate regions commonly associated with the default-mode. In contrast, prefrontal, parahippocampal and occipital cortical regions, which are not typically associated with default-mode activity, show changes over time. Overall, activity in the major components of the default-mode network remains stable in healthy older individuals, a finding which may assist in identifying factors that discriminate between normal and pathological aging.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)123-131
Number of pages9
JournalBrain Imaging and Behavior
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jun 2009


  • Activation
  • Age
  • Brain function
  • Default activity
  • FMRI
  • Functional imaging
  • Human

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Radiology Nuclear Medicine and imaging
  • Neurology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience
  • Psychiatry and Mental health
  • Behavioral Neuroscience


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