Functional connectivity associated with social networks in older adults: A resting-state fMRI study

Sarah Pillemer, Roee Holtzer, Helena M. Blumen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Scopus citations

Abstract

Poor social networks and decreased levels of social support are associated with worse mood, health, and cognition in younger and older adults. Yet, we know very little about the brain substrates associated with social networks and social support, particularly in older adults. This study examined functional brain substrates associated with social networks using the Social Network Index (SNI) and resting-state functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI). Resting-state fMRI data from 28 non-demented older adults were analyzed with independent components analyses. As expected, four established resting-state networks—previously linked to motor, vision, speech, and other language functions—correlated with the quality (SNI-1: total number of high-contact roles of a respondent) and quantity (SNI-2: total number of individuals in a respondent’s social network) of social networks: a sensorimotor, a visual, a vestibular/insular, and a left frontoparietal network. Moreover, SNI-1 was associated with greater functional connectivity in the lateral prefrontal regions of the left frontoparietal network, while SNI-2 was associated with greater functional connectivity in the medial prefrontal regions of this network. Thus, lateral prefrontal regions may be particularly linked to the quality of social networks while medial prefrontal regions may be particularly linked to the quantity of social networks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)242-252
Number of pages11
JournalSocial Neuroscience
Volume12
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - May 4 2017

Keywords

  • Social Network Index
  • older adults
  • resting-state fMRI

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Development
  • Behavioral Neuroscience

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