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Ageing and the Ipsilateral M1 BOLD Response: A Connectivity Study

Wellcome Centre for Human Neuroimaging, University College London, London WC1N 3AR, UK
MRC Cognition and Brain Sciences Unit, Department of Psychiatry, University of Cambridge, Cambridge CB2 7EF, UK
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Mauro Ursino
Brain Sci. 2021, 11(9), 1130;
Received: 27 July 2021 / Revised: 19 August 2021 / Accepted: 23 August 2021 / Published: 26 August 2021
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Neural Networks and Connectivity among Brain Regions)
Young people exhibit a negative BOLD response in ipsilateral primary motor cortex (M1) when making unilateral movements, such as button presses. This negative BOLD response becomes more positive as people age. In this study, we investigated why this occurs, in terms of the underlying effective connectivity and haemodynamics. We applied dynamic causal modeling (DCM) to task fMRI data from 635 participants aged 18–88 from the Cam-CAN dataset, who performed a cued button pressing task with their right hand. We found that connectivity from contralateral supplementary motor area (SMA) and dorsal premotor cortex (PMd) to ipsilateral M1 became more positive with age, explaining 44% of the variability across people in ipsilateral M1 responses. In contrast, connectivity from contralateral M1 to ipsilateral M1 was weaker and did not correlate with individual differences in rM1 BOLD. Neurovascular and haemodynamic parameters in the model were not able to explain the age-related shift to positive BOLD. Our results add to a body of evidence implicating neural, rather than vascular factors as the predominant cause of negative BOLD—while emphasising the importance of inter-hemispheric connectivity. This study provides a foundation for investigating the clinical and lifestyle factors that determine the sign and amplitude of the M1 BOLD response in ageing, which could serve as a proxy for neural and vascular health, via the underlying neurovascular mechanisms. View Full-Text
Keywords: ageing; aging; motor cortex; fMRI; DCM; connectivity; negative BOLD; ipsilateral ageing; aging; motor cortex; fMRI; DCM; connectivity; negative BOLD; ipsilateral
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MDPI and ACS Style

Tak, Y.W.; Knights, E.; Henson, R.; Zeidman, P. Ageing and the Ipsilateral M1 BOLD Response: A Connectivity Study. Brain Sci. 2021, 11, 1130.

AMA Style

Tak YW, Knights E, Henson R, Zeidman P. Ageing and the Ipsilateral M1 BOLD Response: A Connectivity Study. Brain Sciences. 2021; 11(9):1130.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Tak, Yae W., Ethan Knights, Richard Henson, and Peter Zeidman. 2021. "Ageing and the Ipsilateral M1 BOLD Response: A Connectivity Study" Brain Sciences 11, no. 9: 1130.

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