Age-related effects on the default mode network (DMN) connectivity as measured at rest using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) are now well described. Little is known however about the relationships between these changes and age-related effects on cognition or on the unconstrained thoughts which occur during the resting-state scan, called inner experience. Brain resting-state activity, inner experience, and cognitive ability measurements were obtained in 70 participants aged 19-80 years. The anterior-posterior disruption of DMN activity with age reported in previous studies was recovered here. A significant effect of age was also found on cognitive abilities but not on inner experience. Finally, age-related changes in DMN connectivity were found to correlate with cognitive abilities, and more specifically with autobiographical memory performance. These findings provide new information to fuel the debate on the role of the brain default mode and more specifically on the effect of age-related changes in resting-state activity as measured with fMRI.
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