Touchscreen-Based Cognitive Training Alters Functional Connectivity Patterns in Aged But Not Young Male Rats

dc.creatorGaynor, Leslie S.
dc.creatorRavi, Meena
dc.creatorZequeira, Sabrina
dc.creatorHampton, Andreina M.
dc.creatorPyon, Wonn S.
dc.creatorSmith, Samantha
dc.creatorColon-Perez, Luis M.
dc.creatorPompilus, Marjory
dc.creatorBizon, Jennifer L.
dc.creatorMaurer, Andrew P.
dc.creatorFebo, Marcelo
dc.creatorBurke, Sara N.
dc.creator.orcid0000-0001-8918-2418 (Colon-Perez, Luis M.)
dc.description.abstractAge-related cognitive decline is related to cellular and systems-level disruptions across multiple brain regions. Because age-related cellular changes within different structures do not show the same patterns of dysfunction, interventions aimed at optimizing function of large-scale brain networks may show greater efficacy at improving cognitive outcomes in older adults than traditional pharmacotherapies. The current study aimed to leverage a preclinical rat model of aging to determine whether cognitive training in young and aged male rats with a computerized paired-associates learning (PAL) task resulted in changes in global resting-state functional connectivity. Moreover, seed-based functional connectivity was used to examine resting state connectivity of cortical areas involved in object-location associative memory and vulnerable in old age, namely the medial temporal lobe (MTL; hippocampal cortex and perirhinal cortex), retrosplenial cortex (RSC), and frontal cortical areas (prelimbic and infralimbic cortices). There was an age-related increase in global functional connectivity between baseline and post-training resting state scans in aged, cognitively trained rats. This change in connectivity following cognitive training was not observed in young animals, or rats that traversed a track for a reward between scan sessions. Relatedly, an increase in connectivity between perirhinal and prelimbic cortices, as well as reduced reciprocal connectivity within the RSC, was found in aged rats that underwent cognitive training, but not the other groups. Subnetwork activation was associated with task performance across age groups. Greater global functional connectivity and connectivity between task-relevant brain regions may elucidate compensatory mechanisms that can be engaged by cognitive training.
dc.description.sponsorshipThis work was supported by National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Institute on Aging Grants R01/RF1 AG049722, AG060977, and P50 AG047266 and the McKnight Brain Research Foundation. Research reported in this publication was also supported by the University of Florida Clinical and Translational Science Institute: the NIH Center Grant UL1TR001427. This work was also supported by the Advanced Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Spectroscopy (AMRIS) facility (National Science Foundation Cooperative Agreement No. DMR-1157490 and the State of Florida).
dc.identifier.citationGaynor, L. S., Ravi, M., Zequeira, S., Hampton, A. M., Pyon, W. S., Smith, S., Colon-Perez, L. M., Pompilus, M., Bizon, J. L., Maurer, A. P., Febo, M., & Burke, S. N. (2023). Touchscreen-Based Cognitive Training Alters Functional Connectivity Patterns in Aged But Not Young Male Rats. eNeuro, 10(2), ENEURO.0329-22.2023.
dc.publisherSociety for Neuroscience
dc.rights.holder© 2023 Gaynor et al.
dc.rights.licenseAttribution 4.0 International (CC BY 4.0)
dc.subjectassociative memory
dc.subjectcognitive aging
dc.subjectcognitive training
dc.subjectfunctional connectivity
dc.subjectgraph theory
dc.subjectmedial temporal lobe
dc.subject.meshBrain / physiology
dc.subject.meshTemporal Lobe / physiology
dc.subject.meshBrain Mapping / methods
dc.subject.meshCognition / physiology
dc.subject.meshMagnetic Resonance Imaging
dc.titleTouchscreen-Based Cognitive Training Alters Functional Connectivity Patterns in Aged But Not Young Male Rats


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