Age-related differences in task-induced brain activation is not task specific: multivariate pattern generalization between metacognition, cognition and perception

Esther H. H. Keulers*, Maria Bjork Birkisdottir, Luciana Falbo, Anique de Bruin, Peter L. J. Stiers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

3 Citations (Web of Science)

Abstract

Adolescence is associated with widespread maturation of brain structures and functional connectivity profiles that shift from local to more distributed and better integrated networks, which are active during a variety of cognitive tasks. Nevertheless, the approach to examine task-induced developmental brain changes is function-specific, leaving the question open whether functional maturation is specific to the particular cognitive demands of the task used, or generalizes across different tasks. In the present study we examine the hypothesis that functional brain maturation is driven by global changes in how the brain handles cognitive demands. Multivariate pattern classification analysis (MVPA) was used to examine whether age discriminative task-induced activation patterns generalize across a wide range of information processing levels. 25 young (13-years old) and 22 old (17-years old) adolescents performed three conceptually different tasks of metacognition, cognition and visual processing. MVPA applied within each task indicated that task-induced brain activation is consistent and reliably different between ages 13 and 17. These age-discriminative activation patterns proved to be common across the different tasks used, despite the differences in cognitive demands and brain structures engaged by each of the three tasks. MVP classifiers trained to detect age-discriminative patterns in brain activation during one task were significantly able to decode age from brain activation maps during execution of other tasks with accuracies between 63 and 75%. The results emphasize that age-specific characteristics of task-induced brain activation have to be understood at the level of brain-wide networks that show maturational changes in their organization and processing efficacy during adolescence.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)309-321
Number of pages13
JournalNeuroimage
Volume188
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2019

Keywords

  • Adolescence
  • Development
  • Functional MRI
  • (meta) cognition
  • Multivariate pattern classification analysis
  • FUNCTIONAL CONNECTIVITY
  • HEAD MOTION
  • RESPONSE-INHIBITION
  • REVERSE INFERENCE
  • ADOLESCENCE
  • NETWORKS
  • CHILDHOOD
  • MODEL
  • CLASSIFICATION
  • MATURATION

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