Financial literacy is associated with medial brain region functional connectivity in old age

Arch Gerontol Geriatr. 2014 Sep-Oct;59(2):429-38. doi: 10.1016/j.archger.2014.05.001. Epub 2014 May 16.


Financial literacy refers to the ability to access and utilize financial information in ways that promote better outcomes. In old age, financial literacy has been associated with a wide range of positive characteristics; however, the neural correlates remain unclear. Recent work has suggested greater co-activity between anterior-posterior medial brain regions is associated with better brain functioning. We hypothesized financial literacy would be associated with this pattern. We assessed whole-brain functional connectivity to a posterior cingulate cortex (PCC) seed region of interest (ROI) in 138 participants of the Rush Memory and Aging Project. Results revealed financial literacy was associated with greater functional connectivity between the PCC and three regions: the right ventromedial prefrontal cortex (vmPFC), the left postcentral gyrus, and the right precuneus. Results also revealed financial literacy was associated negatively with functional connectivity between the PCC and left caudate. Post hoc analyses showed the PCC-vmPFC relationship accounted for the most variance in a regression model adjusted for all four significant functional connectivity relationships, demographic factors, and global cognition. These findings provide information on the neural mechanisms associated with financial literacy in old age.

Keywords: Aging; Financial literacy; Functional connectivity; Posterior cingulate; Ventromedial prefrontal cortex.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Aging / physiology
  • Brain Mapping / methods*
  • Female
  • Financial Management*
  • Gyrus Cinguli / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Image Interpretation, Computer-Assisted
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging / methods*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neural Pathways / physiology*
  • Prefrontal Cortex / physiology*