Phase fMRI informs whole-brain function connectivity balance across lifespan with connection-specific aging effects during the resting state

Brain Struct Funct. 2019 May;224(4):1489-1503. doi: 10.1007/s00429-019-01850-8. Epub 2019 Mar 2.


A functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) experiment produces complex-valued images consisting of pairwise magnitude and phase images. As different perspective on the same magnetic source, fMRI magnitude and phase data are complementary for brain function analysis. We collected 600-subject fMRI data during rest, decomposed via group-level independent component analysis (ICA) (mICA and pICA for magnitude and phase respectively), and calculated brain functional network connectivity matrices (mFC and pFC). The pFC matrix shows a fewer of significant connections balanced across positive and negative relationships. In comparison, the mFC matrix contains a positively-biased pattern with more significant connections. Our experiment data analyses also show that human brain maintains a whole-brain connection balance in resting state across an age span from 10 to 76 years, however, phase and magnitude data analyses reveal different connection-specific age effects on significant positive and negative subnetwork couplings.

Keywords: Age effect; BOLD fMRI; Functional connectivity balance; Functional network connectivity (FC); Independent component analysis (ICA); Resting state.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aging / physiology*
  • Brain / physiology*
  • Brain Mapping / methods*
  • Child
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Image Processing, Computer-Assisted / methods
  • Magnetic Resonance Imaging*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Neural Pathways / physiology
  • Young Adult